COLUMBUS, Ind. (WXIN) – An ice-skating instructor in Indiana is now out of the hospital after having her car crashed into and then getting stabbed outside of an ice rink in what was apparently an unprovoked attack.
Emma Baxter, 34, is an instructor at Hamilton Center Ice Arena in Columbus. She spent six years traveling and performing with “Disney On Ice,” according to The Republic. She also was a skating instructor in Spain, and she’s popular with her students in Columbus.
“She is wonderful. She’s great with the kids. We actually have kids from outside of the Bartholomew County area that request her, so they come from outside of the county to just be with Emma,” said Mark Jones, director of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.
Around 6:30 a.m. Friday, Baxter arrived at work for a lesson, but she didn’t make it inside.
“The man approached her in the parking lot, asked her for a cigarette and when she told him no, she got back into her car and tried to get away. However, the suspect crashed into her vehicle a short time later in a stolen car,” said Lt. Matt Harris, with the Columbus Police Department.
Police identified the suspect as Ryan Halligan. Detectives say after the crash, Halligan stabbed Baxter, who called 911 for help.
“One of the saving graces was this happened right around our shift change and we had a CPD patrol officer here just moments after getting the 911 call,” said Lt. Harris.
Police say Halligan, who fled on foot when officers arrived, was found hiding by a nearby home and arrested.
Park officials are now considering adding extra security.
“Do we need extra lighting? Do we need extra security cameras? So, we’re looking at all those options,” said Jones.
Investigators said Baxter and Halligan don’t know each other, calling this a completely random attack.
“It’s something we don’t often see here in Columbus. Our violent crime rate is less than half the national average, so incidents like this are something we don’t often see, let alone at one of our parks,” said Lt. Harris.
Baxter is home recovering after spending several days in the hospital.
“We love her. I know her students miss her, and we can’t wait to get her back,” said Jones.
Halligan’s charges will be decided by the prosecutor’s office.