BOSTON (CBS) — A woman charged with stabbing a Boston EMT several times inside an ambulance is being investigated as a possible suspect in recent threats at airports, including a bomb threat at Martha’s Vineyard Airport. Thirty-one-year-old Julie Tejeda was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation before she can be arraigned.
Dozens of Boston EMTs lined the courtroom hallways in a show of support as Tejeda was set to face several charges.
Tejeda briefly appeared on Thursday in a packed courtroom inside of Boston Municipal Court. She was then sent to meet with a court clinician to determine her competency before she could be arraigned.
Upon returning, the clinician said Tejeda has a history of mental health issues and requires further evaluation. She was ordered held without bail so she can undergo a 20-day evaluation.
Chief of Boston Emergency Medical Services James Hooley says the ambulance had been transporting an “emotionally disturbed” patient to the hospital when the person attacked the EMT. Tejeda also allegedly used pepper spray in an attempt to keep the EMT’s partner away after he pulled the ambulance over to help.
Hooley said the EMT is a 14-year veteran. She was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital after being stabbed seven times and underwent emergency surgery.
Sources tell the WBZ-TV I-Team the EMT is Elaina McAlister. Boston EMS said McAlister was released from Mass General Hospital Thursday night.
“We’re here for her. It could have happened to any single one of us,” Hooley said.
The second EMT was treated and released on Wednesday.
Martha’s Vineyard Airport was shut down for three hours on Tuesday due to a bomb threat. State Police told WBZ-TV threats had also been phoned in to airports in Miami, Chicago and Dallas and they were looking into whether the Vineyard threat was connected.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins confirmed that police spoke with Tejeda Tuesday, the night before the attack, about recent threats at airports. Tejeda was not taken into custody.
Tejeda is now facing charges including assault with intent to murder for the stabbing incident.
“First and foremost, I’m grateful that the EMT who was violently attacked is recovering today; my thoughts and those of my Office are with her and her family. I also want to thank her fellow first responder, whose brave and swift actions likely saved his colleague’s life, even as he was assaulted himself,” Rollins said.
According to court documents, Tejeda told police “It was me. I did it, I stabbed her.”
Tejeda is scheduled to appear in court on July 31.