It was the sound of shattered glass and piercing screams that sent three women running Thursday morning.
Police say it was about 9 a.m. when a man used a hammer to break a back door of a home inside the Willow Springs apartment complex in Aloha. Once inside, the attacker stood over a mother of two as she slept, then slit her throat with a knife.
"I was getting ready and my boyfriend heard a lot of screaming, and I ran outside and we found the neighbors standing next to the lady who was bleeding," said neighbor Shawnna Garcia.
Those neighbors were the victim's upstairs neighbors. When they heard the screams, they ran down their steps and kicked in the front door of the woman's apartment.
The man with the knife ran off. U.S. Marshalls later arrested the victim's ex-boyfriend, Jose Ponce-Guitron, in connection with the attack. Monday a Washington County judge raised Ponce's bail to $1 million after the district attorney argued he was a flight risk.
On Thursday, neighbors didn't think the victim would make it.
Garcia says she held the woman, who doesn't speak English, for at least fifteen minutes while waiting for paramedics to arrive. Garcia held a towel against her neck and told the woman to breathe slowly.
"The only thing I could think of, that she would be able to understand, was to pray," Garcia said. "We just sat there, and she was mumbling along with me."
Whether it was the prayers or the towel, something worked. Paramedics came quickly, and the victim recovered at the hospital and will live.
"Honestly, I think it was God's help because somebody should have never survived that," Garcia said.
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