A California man stepped in the middle of violent chaos aboard a Greyhound bus when a delusional woman tried to stab a 3-year-old girl and her mother, authorities said.
Nathan Wanhala was riding the bus in Tulare County at the time. He watched in horror as a woman abruptly stood up, took out a knife and forced herself between the child and her mom, according to sheriff's deputies.
She grabbed the toddler by the neck, and threatened to kill her and her mom.
"They lady showed a knife and started to get hysterical," Wanhala told reporters at a press conference Monday. "She really was out for blood."
He tried to pry the long knife from the woman's fingers as the bus driver and another passenger grabbed the woman's arms. "I just wanted her to stop. I just didn't want to hurt anybody," he said.
The woman, identified by authorities as Teresa Madrigal, stabbed the mother in the abdomen and slightly injured four others, including the toddler.
Wanhala, of Santa Cruz, was sliced on the wrist and a finger. "It's all been horrifying, actually," he said.
The bus driver and the two passengers were able to pin down the woman until Tulare County Sheriff's deputies arrived. It wasn't easy, Wanhala said, because the woman had stabbed herself in the neck and the blood from her wound was slippery.
"There was so much blood, it was hard to keep her pinned down," Wanhala said. Other passengers jumped into action trying to help the mother staunch the flow of blood from her stomach and calm her little girl, who suffered some scratches and bruises, but was otherwise fine.
Deputies praised Wanhala as a hero, but he shrugged it off.
"I don't consider myself a hero," he said. "If I were in that same predicament, I hope someone else would help me."
Madrigal was taken to a nearby hospital, where she is being treated for her wounds, deputies said. She and the mother are expected to recover.
Madrigal was charged with five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of false imprisonment and one count of child endangerment.