Alleged Hadley bus slasher to stay in mental health facility

Staff writer
Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Northampton woman accused of attacking bus passengers with a knife on Wednesday will remain in a mental health facility until her next appearance in court, a judge decided on Friday.

Brietta Brown, 26, pleaded not guilty in Eastern Hampshire District Court on May 3 to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, disturbing the peace and two counts of attempted murder. At a second court appearance on May 4, a judge decided she will remain in the mental health facility until a dangerousness hearing scheduled for May 23.

At 4:12 p.m. on May 2, Hadley police received a 911 call from Pioneer Valley Transit Authority dispatch services reporting that a passenger on one of their buses had pulled a knife and threatened passengers, according to a press release on the department’s Facebook page.

According to police, the caller said multiple passengers on the bus had disarmed the knife-wielding passenger, but were still struggling. Two passengers were cut and suffered injuries to their throats, according to police, and were taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

The injured passengers reported that Brown had slashed both of their throats with the knife in an unprovoked attack.

Police said the driver of the bus helped disarm the suspect and received minor cuts on his hands. As officers arrived, the driver began to suffer from chest pain and police said he, too, was taken to the hospital.

Sarah Robertson contributed to this story.