San Diego

Man Accused of Stabbing Ex-Girlfriend Outside Carlsbad Costco Appears in Court

CBP said when agents found Higgins in Temecula, he began to pour lighter fluid on himself before igniting a flame in an attempt to light himself on fire

The man suspected of stabbing his ex-girlfriend multiple times outside a Costco Wholesale in Carlsbad pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted murder charges. 

Charles Higgins, 62, was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Temecula Friday, hours after repeatedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend in the parking lot of the Costco on Palomar Airport Road at about 2:50 p.m., the Carlsbad Police Department (CPD) said. 

The victim, described by police as a Carlsbad woman in her 60s, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. As of Wednesday, she was said to be improving and was listed in stable condition.

Higgins was also accused of violating the terms of a domestic violence protective order.

The search for Higgins Friday prompted a response from multiple local and federal agencies, including CBP, Murrietta police and the Riverside Sheriff's Department.

CBP agents spotted a man who matched Higgins' description near Winchester Road in Temecula. They flashed their police lights and the driver pulled over, CBP said.

Then, while sitting inside the vehicle, Higgins began to pour lighter fluid on himself, CBP said. He then ignited a butane lighter and attempted to light himself on fire, officials said. 

One agent opened the door and knocked the lighter out of Higgins' hand. He was pulled from the vehicle and taken to the hospital for treatment.

Higgins was later booked into the Vista Detention Facility where he was being held without bail. 

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