Police: Woman attacked with machete in Vineland, suspect loose

VINELAND, N.J. - August 16, 2012

Eugenio Morales, 43, last known to reside on Eighth Street in Vineland, fled the scene of Wednesday night's attack in a black SUV, police said, which was later found abandoned.

He is currently at large.

Police say it was late Wednesday night when officers were called to the area of 6th and Almond streets for a report of an assault.

Once on the scene, police say they found a 41-year-old woman who had sustained injuries to the face, head, body and hands.

Investigators believe she was injured with a machete.

The victim, who is not being identified by police out of concern for her safety, was hospitalized in critical and unstable condition.

It all happened in Juanita Rivera's driveway. She heard the couple fighting in an SUV, then saw them get out of the vehicle.

"She came out of the car and he came out of the car and he went in with the ax and he cut her face and her arms and her back," Rivera said as her niece translated.

The attack would have continued if Rivera hadn't intervened.

"She picked up a brick, to try and hit him, but missed him. He jumped in his car and he took off," Rivera's niece said.

The attack was also across the street from this clothing factory where Morales has worked for several years.

His co-workers say he didn't seem capable of such vicious violence.

"He's a nice guy. He gets along with everybody. I'm very shocked it just happened like that. It's crazy," said Luis Acosta.

Morales has been charged with attempted homicide along with weapons offenses. Police say a gun was found at the scene.

Police say Morales should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact 911 and/or the Vineland Police Department at 856-691-4111 x4180 or the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office at 609-381-2047.

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