Julie Tejada in court Thursday. (WBZ-TV)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The woman accused of stabbing a Boston EMT inside an ambulance Wednesday appeared in court Thursday afternoon.
Julie Tejeda, 31, is facing several assault charges, including assault with intent to murder. She was ordered held without bail while she undergoes a 20-day mental health evaluation.
But there was a twist in the case Thursday, when Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins revealed Tejeda is a person of interest in the investigation into several recent threats to airports around the country—including the one that shut down Martha's Vineyard Airport for several hours Tuesday.
According to WBZ-TV's Beth Germano, Rollins said police spoke with Tejeda about recent airport threats the night before the stabbing, but did not take her into custody.
Police said Tejada was being transported from East Boston to Massachusetts General Hospital Wednesday afternoon when she became unruly and stabbed an EMT in the back of the ambulance around 4 p.m.. When the driver stopped the ambulance near New Chardon and Bowker Streets and came to the back to try to help, police said Tejada sprayed him in the face with mace.
Boston Police Superintendent William Gross said officers arrived shortly after, found Tejada inside the ambulance, and arrested her.
The female EMT was rushed to Mass General for emergency surgery. Boston EMS said she was released Thursday afternoon to continue her recovery at home.
Her partner was also treated and released.
James Hooley, the chief of Boston EMS, said the victim has been an EMT for 14 years.
"She did lose a considerable amount of blood," Hooley said. "The folks at Mass General were all so terrific about it because they all know her. She works this district, she works in East Boston."
Around 100 Boston EMTs showed up to Boston Municipal Court for Tejada's hearing to show their support for their wounded colleague.
In a statement, DA Rollins said she's grateful the EMT is recovering, and thanked her partner, who "likely saved his colleague's life, even as he was assaulted himself."
"The work that both EMTs did yesterday was extraordinary in courage, but utterly ordinary for first responders, who put their safety on the line every day that they put on their uniform and go to work," Rollins said. "We owe them our profound appreciation. I want the victims and their department to know that they have the full support of my Office as the case moves forward, and we are committed to achieving accountability on their behalf."
Tejada will be back in court July 31.