San Diego

Victim of Stabbing at Costco Says Ex-Boyfriend Once Held Her Hostage

The victim of a brutal stabbing in a busy Costco Wholesale parking lot in Carlsbad last Friday has been attacked by the suspect, her ex-boyfriend, once before, according to a restraining order obtained by NBC 7.

Police say Charles Higgins, 62, was under a restraining order from the 71-year-old victim when he stabbed her repeatedly in the middle of the afternoon and fled the scene.

The restraining order details a violent attack Higgins made on the victim and her family nearly two years ago.

According to the order, Higgins held the stabbing victim at gunpoint and threatened the lives of her and her daughter. It all took place at the victim's birthday party at her home in the affluent Aviara Community in August of 2016.

The restraining order states that she broke up with Higgins that day, and indicates, "He grabbed me and started choking me."

"He punched me several times in the right side of my body," the victim also told police. "He pushed me inside the house. Then proceeded to hold me hostage at gunpoint for two hours."

Higgins left the house and the next day, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department records, and was arrested and charged with kidnapping and assault with a firearm, among other things.

The criminal protective order wasn't due to expire for another year, but the Carlsbad Police Department (CPD) said that didn't stop Higgins from trying to kill his ex-girlfriend outside of Costco on Palomar Airport Road.

Investigators say she was stabbed multiple times near her SUV in the parking lot. Luckily, Good Samaritans acted quickly and called police when they found her on the ground.

Higgins was later arrested by Customs and Border Protection near Temecula.

Arresting officers say the suspect doused himself with lighter fluid in his car and was beginning to try and set himself on fire before an officer intervened and took him into custody.

Police are not disclosing the name of the hospital where the victim is being treated for her own safety, but say her condition is improving

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