HADLEY – After the woman charged with slashing two passengers and the driver of a Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus was handcuffed and read her rights, she apologized.
“I’m so sorry, I don’t know what came over me,” Brietta Brown said, according to the arrest report. “Please apologize to them for me, will they survive? I hope Allah will forgive me.”
The arrest report, written by Hadley Police Officer Thomas Chabot, also describes surveillance video from the bus, which was heading east on Route 9 when the attack occurred.
The video shows Brown sitting calmly after boarding the bus. She was seated on the passenger side of the bus behind the victims, who were sitting together. “At no point in time was there any interaction between them prior to the attack,” Chabot wrote.
Brown could be seen on the footage removing the knife from her pocket and unsheathing it. She then grabbed a female “her by the head … and made a left to right slice to the victim’s neck.”
She then attacked the male after he stood up reacting to the assault. She “made multiple slashing motions” and cut him at least once, according to Chabot’s report.
Witnesses told police “with some variance that Brown looked like she was about to say hi to the two indented victims when she grabbed each by the head and sliced at there (sic) throats.”
Police said passengers and the bus driver intervened and subdued Brown.
“In the scuffle as she was being subdued she also cut the bus drivers (sic) hand with the knife as he attempted to control her,” Chabot wrote.
The driver suffered chest pains following the incident. He and the other victims were taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.
Afterward, while Brown was in Chabot’s cruiser, “she began praying to ALLAH, (and) after arriving at the station she continued to pray and would not break her concentration to speak with any officers.”
Brown would not speak to police during the booking process or “acknowledge our presence and would not answer any of our questions, and would not stop praying.” Officers placed her in a cell until she would comply.
Her behavior became more erratic, Chabot wrote. “She began to drink toilet water, and asked multiple officers to shoot her in the head and referred to herself in the third person.”
Officers ultimately called the Amherst Fire Department to take her to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton for a mental health evaluation.
On Thursday, Brown’s 26th birthday, she was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court on two counts of attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace. She is scheduled to return May 9 for a dangerousness hearing.
Brown, who authorities said lives in Northampton, will also be evaluated to determine if she is competent to stand trial. That examination will be conducted at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Corrections, where she is being held without the right to bail, according to court documents.