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Phoenix jogger saved from ax-wielding suspect by passing driver: report

Written by on February 9, 2021

A 25-year-old man was being held in a Phoenix jail, facing a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, after allegedly chasing a jogger while wielding an ax, according to a report.

The incident in Central Phoenix last week appeared to be random and unprovoked, authorities told FOX 10 of Phoenix.

The jogger claims she was saved from harm by flagging down a passing vehicle and climbing inside the car, FOX 10 reported.

The jogger, identified as Gina Hopkins-Calligan, shared her account with the station.

“He was just screaming,” Hopkins-Calligan said of the suspect. “He was galloping at me with the ax, like this, just ready to chop me to pieces.”

“He looked determined to kill me,” she continued. “I was just screaming, waving my arms. I probably looked like a crazy person.”

“He looked determined to kill me.”

— Gina Hopkins-Calligan, Phoenix jogger

Hopkins-Calligan said she sought help from passing drivers but only one motorist stopped to help her.

That driver, Emily Regester, also spoke with FOX 10.

“I saw an altercation. It was dark, so I wanted to make sure she was OK, so I turned right here and met her, asked if she was OK. She said no. So she got in the car and we called 911,” Regester recalled.

“She absolutely saved herself,” the driver added. “She’s a very fast runner.”

Joshua Eicher, 25, is facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, authorities told FOX 10 of Phoenix.

Joshua Eicher, 25, is facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, authorities told FOX 10 of Phoenix.

Police later apprehended the suspect, who was still carrying the ax, according to FOX 10.

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Authorities identified the suspect as Joshua Eicher. They described him as a homeless addict, FOX 10 reported.

“It’s scary to think, ‘What if that were not me. What if that were an elderly person who could not run away from him,’” Hopkins-Calligan said.

It was unclear when Eicher would be making a court appearance in connection with the case.

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