American Fork, UT – A parolee who was released from a halfway house due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 allegedly broke into a random woman’s home and threatened to cut her head off with a serrated knife.
Convicted felon Joshua Haskell, 42, was serving time in the Utah State Prison after he violated a previous release onto parole, the Deseret News reported.
Just days prior to the alleged attack, Haskell was granted parole yet again and was released to a halfway house.
But that placement was cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 17, the repeat offender was “suddenly released” into the community, according to his arrest affidavit.
According to police, a woman and her juvenile son were asleep in their home when Haskell broke in on March 19, the Deseret News reported.
The woman was awoken by the sound of her stairs creaking, and quickly realized that there was a stranger in her bedroom watching her, police said.
Haskell was armed with a serrated knife, which he had “raised toward his head with the knife pointing down,” according to the arrest affidavit.
The woman began screaming, at which point Haskell threatened to “cut her head off” if she didn’t quiet down, police said.
After binding her ankles and wrists with a pair of shoelaces, Haskell allegedly told the victim that he was going to take off with her car, cash bank cards, and PIN numbers, and that he would come back and kill her if she didn’t give him the correct numbers, the Deseret News reported.
Meanwhile, the woman’s juvenile son heard his mother screaming and placed a call to 911.
When police arrived, the victim told her attacker to “hurry and leave through the window,” but he refused because one of the gloves he had been wearing was still inside her home, the Daily Herald reported.
Haskell jumped into bed with the woman instead, and ordered her to tell police he was her “lover,” according to the arrest affidavit.
When the felon pulled the sheets up to pretend like he was asleep, the victim bolted for the door and ran downstairs to police.
Her son had already escaped from the home and was safe outside with the officers, the Daily Herald reported.
Haskell surrendered a short while later.
The victim told police that she was convinced that her attacker was going to stab her to death during the terrifying incident.
Investigators recovered a knife in her bed.
Police found no signs of forced entry into the home, but learned that the back door could easily be wiggled open, even when it was latched, according to the arrest affidavit.
According to court documents, police found a used syringe on Haskell during a pat down search and located methamphetamine in the room where he attacked the victim, the Daily Herald reported.
He later tested positive for methamphetamine and buprenorphine.
Haskell was transported to a hospital, where he immediately became uncooperative and demanded to speak with an attorney, according to the Daily Herald.
He has since been charged with felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, felony possession of a controlled substance, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary.
He also had an active misdemeanor theft warrant out for his arrest at the time of the attack, and investigators have requested additional charges of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor threat of violence, the Daily Herald reported.
Haskell’s criminal history includes prior offenses of burglary, assault, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, fraud/forgery, DUI, trespass, and domestic violence, according to KUTV.