“Just terrible. Uncalled for grabbing a little girl,” said resident John Dansereau.
Police say the man demanded the woman’s purse but she ran. The man then grabbed her 4-year old daughter, put the knife to her threatening he’ll hurt the girl if the woman didn’t come back. But then the girl got away.
“It appears the woman was thinking on her feet, figuring he wanted the purse, she ran away to get him away from the little girl,” said Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney.
But a lot of people don’t see it that way. We got dozens and dozens of comments on our website and Facebook page. People asking why a mother would run and leave her little girl behind with the attacker.
We asked licensed clinical social worker Baxter Chandler with Holyoke Medical Center. He couldn’t comment on this case specifically but he talks about how people react in threatening situations.
“Our first reaction is “danger, I have to escape. Whether that’s to run and get help, the instinct is to escape the danger,” explained Chandler.
He says people have a “fight or flight” instinct that kicks in when needed.
“Problem is this is such an automatic response some times we can’t think things through and we just react on instinct,” added Chandler.
That pits “first instinct” against a “mothers instinct.”
“I’m sure a lot of women may say a mothers instinct but then put them in the situation and it maybe different,” said Chandler.
The woman was stabbed in the collar bone area and will be okay.
Police don’t see any problem with how she reacted. They are now following up on several leads in the case.
If you have any information about the attack, you’re asked to call police or text them an anonymous tip at CRIMES (274637) and in the message type SOLVE and your tip.