BURLINGTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey woman accused of throwing a 5-year-old girl in front of an approaching train in what she described as an attempted sacrifice has been indicted on a charge of attempted murder.
Police say 20-year-old Autumn Matacchiera grabbed the girl at random on Jan. 27 and threw her on the tracks at a light rail platform in Burlington. Police jumped onto the tracks to signal the train to stop, and the girl was rescued by her mother’s boyfriend. She suffered a cut and some bruising. No one else was hurt.
Police were already at the track after receiving a report from a bus driver of a suspicious woman.
After her arrest, Matacchiera called the Courier-Post newspaper from a hospital and told them she believed she needed to make a sacrifice to win the love of an estranged relative. She said she was inspired by the biblical story of the golden calf, an idol said to have been worshipped by the Israelites and destroyed by the prophet Moses.
She told the newspaper she no longer wants to be part of the community. “I think I should go to jail for the rest of my life,” she said. Her lawyer said she should be treated as a mental health patient, not a criminal.
Matacchiera has remained hospitalized since her arrest.
Arraignment has not been scheduled.