Two women attacked in Haverhill, witness describes gruesome scene

HAVERHILL, Mass. — A young man is in custody after a disturbing attack involving two women in a quiet residential community in Haverhill.

Police have identified the suspect taken into custody as Jake Kavanaugh of Haverhill.

Police said the women were hit by a car on Fairview Farm Road on Wednesday sometime around 5 p.m.

According to police, the young man driving the car then got out and began stabbing one of the women in the neck with a box cutter.

She was later flown to a Boston hospital in critical condition.

A neighbor told Boston 25 News the other woman managed to escape to nearby Salem, NH, and called for help.

“They were walking their dogs, a mother and her pregnant daughter,” said neighbor Chris Heywood. “The pregnant daughter escaped through the grassy area. It was her mother who was getting stabbed.”

Heywood was first alerted to the chaos by his barking dog.

He said he couldn’t believe what he saw when he rushed outside.

“At first, everybody thought he was trying to help her but then he started stabbing her,” said Heywood. “I ran across the street to get the kid. As I was getting to him the police officers came from Salem, NH, and tackled him.”

Heywood told Boston 25 News that the young man taken into custody is in his 20s and also lives on the street.

“He actually grew up with my son until they were about 16 years old from playing hockey and stuff together. They went their separate ways,” added Heywood. “I think he had a few issues going on.”

Police have not elaborated a potential motive.

The Essex DA’s Office said the attack was not random.

Kavanaugh will be arraigned in Haverhill District Court on Thursday. He’s expected to be charged with armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. mayhem, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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