Autumn Matacchiera was taken into custody Friday, January 27th by local authorities after she pushed a 5-year-old girl onto train tracks as a train was approaching. According to her mother, she had been in and out of mental health facilities for the last six years. In spite of this, however, Laura Matacchiera says the girl has never exhibited such violent behavior before.
The 20-year-old girl was subdued by law enforcement officers while her mother’s boyfriend dragged the 5-year-old to safety. The incident took place at a West Broad Street rail platform.
“We as parents are thankful she’s okay”, says Laura Matacchiera with tears in her eyes to reporters on Sunday morning.
Because of the quick actions of the police officers at the scene who jumped in front of the train to signal it to stop, the 5-year-old girl was able to escape with only a cut on her face and minor bruises. Burlington City police department says a New Jersey Transit bus driver informed a police officer about Autumn Matacchiera who was acting suspiciously near Broad and High streets. As law enforcement officers descended upon the train platform, the 20-year-old girl allegedly grabbed the victim and threw her onto the tracks in front of a moving train.
Authorities say Autumn Matacchiera was accompanied by her mother and her boyfriend at the time of the incident. As police officers signaled the train to stop, Laura Matacchiera’s boyfriend jumped onto the tracks and picked up the girl.
According to her mother, Autumn had been battling with mental health issues for several years now. However, the girl never displayed violent behavior towards others until Friday, says the mother. Per an official August 2016 report, the girl attended the Chamberlain International School in Massachusetts until 2012 when she left it to attend therapeutic horsemanship lessons at the Majoda Stables in Moorestown.
Autumn Matacchiera openly discussed her mental health status via a blog she was administering in hopes to provide support to others like her, says her mother. At the moment, the 20-year-old girl resides at Burlington County’s Lourdes Medical Center in Willingboro where she was taken following the incident on Friday for a detailed psychiatric evaluation.
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