Fort Smith PD arrest suspect in 'random' stabbing

Amanda Corbin
News Reporter

An Arkansas police department reported Wednesday [Aug. 30] they had arrested a 26-year-old man accused of stabbing a woman in a random attack in the morning hours.

According to the Fort Smith Police Department, the suspect was Elijah Zachariah Reed. He is accusing of stabbing a 44-year-old woman on the National Historical Site Trail near South 3rd and Parker in the city.

Police say the call came in after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, and National Park personnel directed officers to the victim across a set of railroad tracks near the trail after she approached them requesting help.

The victim was identified as Anong "Wendy" Chanthavongsy. She received multiple stab wounds in the attack.

Chanthavongsy told police that she was jogging on the trail when she was attacked from behind. She then was able to give a description of the suspect and his last known direction of travel. She was taken to a local hospital and was listed in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

Police said the crime scene was near a park bench on the southwest corner of the park. Police soon after received a call about a man walking down Garrison Avenue matching the attacker's description. In interview, officers found that Reed had a laceration to the inside of his hand. After being interviewed by criminal investigators, police said they arrested him on suspicion of first-degree battery.

The department said there is no link between the victim and suspect, and it is "a random act of violence." The suspected weapon was not recovered, and police said it was reportedly thrown into the river.