MODESTO — A Modesto woman was recovering at home Tuesday after being stabbed in the leg by an intruder; she and her family remain fearful of a suspect still at large.
The woman's husband, Jim Satterwhite, said what troubles him most are unanswered questions about how the man got into the family's garage and what his intentions were.
"It makes you start thinking and wondering, 'What were you after? What were you trying to do?' " he said. "Maybe (he was there) to assault my wife. I don't want to go there I don't want to think about that."
Satterwhite's wife had gone into the garage of their home in the 600 block of Fern Street late Monday afternoon to move clean clothes into the dryer when she looked up and saw a young man dressed in baggy black clothes perched on top of one of the family's personal watercraft.
The man jumped on her, knocking her to the floor, Satterwhite said. She struggled to get away from the man, crawling toward the door leading into her home.
When she called out to her 14-year-old son and 24-year-old daughter, Satterwhite said that is when the suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed her in the leg.
"When he started stabbing her, she feared for the kids and at that point she just told them, 'Run and hide, lock yourselves in your room.' She was screaming it," Satterwhite said.
The suspect stabbed her three times. The third time, he left the knife in her leg and ran.
Her children called police, who searched for the suspect with a police dog, but the strong wind quickly dissipated the scent trail.
Satterwhite said the family at first couldn't figure out how the man got into the garage because all the doors were locked, but then he remembered he had left the garage door open for a short time more than eight hours before the attack.
About an hour before his wife was stabbed, she was in the garage with her son and noticed a suitcase that had been on top of the personal watercraft was on the floor. They thought nothing of it and put it back, Satterwhite said.
The garage is packed floor- to-ceiling, so the man might have thought he was trapped, or was on drugs and couldn't figure out how to get out, or had stayed there deliberately, Satterwhite said. "If it's deliberate, that's another thing, and it makes it a whole lot more serious," he said.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at (209) 578-2366 or email@example.com.