BANGOR, Maine — The 34-year-old female nursing student who was attacked and stabbed as she arrived for classes at Husson University Wednesday had taken out a protection from abuse order against her alleged assailant, according to officials.
Five female students, who were nearby when the attack occurred, came to the woman’s assistance and subdued Horst Wolk, 45, of Bangor, until police arrived.
Wolk was arrested on charges of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and violation of a protection order. He was taken to Penobscot County Jail where he remained on $25,000 bail Wednesday night. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
“At about 7:40 this morning Bangor Police officers responded to Husson University to the report of a domestic fight involving a male and a female and that several people were subduing a male suspect on the ground,” Sgt. Paul Edwards said.
“We recovered a knife at the scene,” Edwards said.
The name of the victim, a Bangor resident, and her relationship to the attacker, were not released.
The victim was taken to a hospital by someone at the scene, Edwards said.
Husson spokeswoman Julie Green said Wednesday afternoon at a press conference featuring two of the women who helped subdue Wolk that the nursing student had been treated at St. Joseph Hospital and then released. “Thank God, she’s OK,” she said.
Bangor police had previously notified campus security at Husson of the protection order, Robert Kilpeck, director of campus safety and security, said. Kilpeck said his office had issued a criminal trespass warning to Wolk stating he would be charged with a crime if he stepped foot on campus.
If convicted of attempting to murder the woman or the elevated aggravated assault, Wolk could face a penalty of up to 30 years in prison for each charge.
The attack happened near O’Donnell Commons, Green said. Wolk, who isn’t a student, rammed the victim’s vehicle after she pulled into a parking space, then jumped out of his vehicle with a knife in his hand, Green said.
John Michaud, who teaches criminal justice at Husson, did not witness the stabbing but saw the women get and keep Wolk on the ground while they waited for campus security and Bangor police to arrive.
Michaud said at the afternoon press conference that the abrasions visible on Wolk’s face in his mug shot released by the Penobscot County Jail were self-inflicted.
“He was banging his head against the asphalt,” Michaud said.
The female students who subdued Wolk should be commended for their actions, Green said.
“We’re extremely proud of their reaction,” she said. “They made a difference today.”
Their actions demonstrate that, “we’re not going to allow ourselves to be victimized,” Green added. “We do everything we can to empower our students.”
Counselors were made available to those who need support, she said.
“It’s tough for me, so I can only imagine” what others are going through, said Green, who pulled into the parking lot shortly after the incident occurred and saw the women holding Wolk down. “We’re going to pull together.”
Kilpeck said few serious incidents of crime typically occur on campus.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate here at Husson,” he said at a midmorning press conference on campus. “We don’t have a bad safety record.” Campus security officials are made aware when students have protection orders, Kilpeck said.
If the five students had not acted to protect their fellow student, the situation may have turned out differently, he said. “The female students all banded together and took care of themselves today,” he said.
Edwards said officers generally don’t want bystanders to put themselves in harm’s way.
“We would never recommend getting involved to the point where you might get hurt yourself and become a second victim. But am I proud of what they did? Of course I am. Am I glad they did it? Yeah. I’m happy because the outcome was good,” Edwards said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.