Washington

EMT Stabbing Suspect Found Not Mentally Competent to Stand Trial

The defendant, Julie Tejeda of East Boston, was ordered to undergo two psychiatric evaluations

The East Boston woman accused of assaulting two emergency responders last month is not mentally competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Friday.

"I have reviewed the report from Worcester recovery and I have found her incompetent. She is going to be remanded to Worcester recovery," the judge said.

Julie Tejeda, 31, was arrested on July 10 after she allegedly stabbed an EMT and sprayed a mace-like chemical at a second emergency responder while in an ambulance.

The EMTs were en route to Massachusetts General Hospital with Tejeda after she was reported as a possibly "emotionally disturbed" person.

Tejeda allegedly became combative during the ambulance ride and stabbed the first emergency responder four times as they traveled near Government Center. The second EMT, who was driving the vehicle, pulled over to help when Tejeda allegedly sprayed a mace-like chemical in their faces.

Both emergency responders were treated for their injuries and the EMT who was stabbed is recovering after undergoing surgery.

Tejeda, who is also under investigation for possibly making false bomb threats to airports in Martha’s Vineyard and Washington, D.C., was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a public employee.

Eduardo Masferrer, Tejeda's lawyer, said his client is suffering from severe mental distress. She underwent at least two psychiatric evaluations prior to Friday's decision.

"There were some professionals who evaluated her. They determined that she is presently not competent," he said. "The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office had an opportunity to review that report. They, along with I, reviewed it, and all the parties agreed that she is presently not competent to go forward with these criminal proceedings."

The judge agreed with that assessment and ordered Tejeda remainded to Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital for further treatment.

"There's a lot going through Miss Tejeda's mind right now, and I think the best thing to do is to let her recover," Masferrer said. "I'm not too sure more can be done for EMTs. They have a dangerous job."

The case has highlighted the everyday dangers EMTs face. Boston officials said they have recorded at least 31 attacks on EMTs so far this year.

Representatives for Boston EMS released a statement Friday saying the EMTS involved in last month's attack are continuing to recover and the health and safety of all technicians is their "first and primary concern".

"Boston EMS is working very closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our personnel, patients and the community. Through our coordination with the Boston Police department we have taken steps to improve policy and procedures. We are also working with Boston Police to provide enhanced self-defense training for our members," read the statement from Boston EMS.

Boston EMS representatives added that they were glad Tejeda was receiving treatment and that she will not pose a public safety risk in the meantime.

Tejeda is due back in court in March.

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