CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Police are hailing two Caruthersville city hall employees who gave medical attention to a co-worker after a man stabbed her Thursday.
Police say the suspect entered the municipal building on June 26 and stabbed water clerk Elizabeth Hardesty 13 times. The man said he was upset the city turned off his water.
"I was reading my book and I looked over window between us and it looked like a guy was beating her," city collector Donna Brooks said.
"I went into Elizabeth's office and asked her is she was okay," said Brooks. "She said, 'I've been stabbed. Help me, help me.'"
Brooks has sat in the office next Hardesty for 11 years. Brooks never imagined she would be trying to save Hardesty's life.
"No, never. I mean people get irate over their water bills or tax bills but you can usually talk to them but nothing like this has ever happened," Brooks said.
Brooks called down the office hallway for someone to call 911. Chamber of Commerce Director Amanda Irvin heard the cries for help.
Irvin called the police from her cell phone. Then she grabbed some paper towels and rushed to help Hardesty.
"I applied pressure [to Hardesty's wound] until help got here," Irvin said.
Asst. Chief Jerry Hudgens of the Caruthersville Police Department credits the women for allowing his officers to catch the suspect quickly. He said Brooks and Irvin did what he normally would have done upon arriving on scene, letting him communicate with officers on the whereabouts of the man.
Hardesty has been moved out the ICU and into a regular hospital room, according Hudgens. He said she is still in severe condition but improving each day.
Caruthersville police are posting an officer in city hall until they can come up with a more permanent security improvement solution.
Richard Edward Jaworski, 50, of Caruthersville, is facing possible charges of first degree assault, armed criminal action, burglary first degree and unlawful use of a weapon.