Lawrence County, TN - A would-be rapist was stabbed with his own knife after he attacked a Lawrence County Sheriff's deputy's wife, tied her up, and ripped off her clothes.
31-year-old Stephen Purcell hid his vehicle near the deputy's residence, and then sneaked over to the house.
Captain Adam Brewer said that the deputy's wife heard noises, so she opened her garage, and found Purcell in her garage wearing a mask.
That's when Purcell started beating the 5-foot 3-inch, 100-pound woman.
"He was striking her in the face with his fist, ended up on top of her at one point and eventually pulled a knife, holding it to her throat, she was able to fight him, and get the knife away and stab him a couple of times, once in the side of the head," Captain Brewer said, according to WKRN.
Purcell was able to zip tie her hands and ripped off her clothes. She was able to escape during the attack and run to a neighbor for help.
That's when Purcell called 911 and pretended to be a witness to the attack.
Purcell changed his story later and claimed that two masked men coerced him to attack the woman. There is no evidence to support his claim, but there is plenty of evidence that he committed the attack.
Purcell had the knife used in the attack on him at the time of his arrest.
He also had bite marks from from the attack.
The police are investigating if the attack was retaliation against the deputy.
"He and his wife are family, to have to go through this, she is a remarkable young lady. She really is. She fought for her life. She is a small lady, but she has a lot of fight a lot of spunk," Sheriff Brown said, according to WKRN.
It was later learned that Purcell had bonded out of jail just hours before the attack. He had been arrested multiple times in the past year for crimes like robbery, kidnapping, and rape.
After hearing about Purcell's criminal history, people started to blame the sheriff's office for letting him out of jail. They responded openly to the criticism, saying:
First and foremost, let us make it clear, OUR DEPARTMENT DOES NOT SET BONDS. Bonds are set by a presiding magastrate or judge based on the charges at hand and any other relevant circumstances at that time.
Secondly, OUR DEPARTMENT DOES NOT SENTENCE SUBJECTS. A sentence an individual is given again comes from a judge, sometimes in coordination with the district attorney's office in the instances of a plea deal etc.
If you disagree with a bond amount or the sentence on a given case, we strongly encourage you to address that with the judge, magistrate or district attorney responsible for it, not our department.
Our officers are just as frustrated as the general public when we see repeat offenders or offenders with serious charges back on the streets days after we arrest them, but there is little we can do besides keep arresting them.
Further, our officer's jobs are already tough enough without having to read this kind of misinformation constantly on social media. So please help us inform the public by sharing this post.
Purcell has been charged with five new felonies including attempted first degree murder, attempted aggravated rape, and aggravated kidnapping. He is being held on a $1 million bond.
Do you think that the courts go easy on violent felons? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.