She was protecting her 3-year-old's life, now she's fighting for her own

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. - A woman in the hospital is recovering from a stabbing attack that nearly killed her. She was injured while protecting her 3-year-old daughter from a woman who allegedly attacked them while on a Greyhound bus.

This happened Monday as the bus drove through Tulare County.

Sheriff's deputies said a woman repeatedly talking to herself turned around, grabbed the toddler, put her in a choke hold and threatened to stab her. That's when the mother, the bus driver, and two others stepped in to protect the girl.

We are told the little girl has a mark on her neck but is okay and at home with her aunt in Sacramento. Two of the men who stepped in had injuries but were treated and are now home. The mother of the 3-year-old went through surgery Monday night and is still at the hospital recovering.

"This is crazy it's like something from an action move something you see on tv," said a bus riding witness.

Tulare County Lt. Duane Cornett said Teresa Madrigal allegedly attacked the 3-year-old toddler with a knife while riding the bus traveling from Las Vegas to the Bay area.

The mother, the bus driver, and two passengers jumped in.

"I mean she brandished a knife and was using it in a deadly fashion. There could have been not only physical hardship but death could have been a likely outcome if the passengers didn't intervene," said Cornett.

They said five people including the toddler and the suspect were injured.

"She used the knife on herself to cause her wounds," said Cornett.

Madrigal is being treated and is in custody with Tulare County Sheriff's Office. 

She's charged with child endangerment and assault with a deadly weapon. 

Cornett said it's a miracle the little girl and her mom are alive. 

In a statement, officials with Greyhound said they have a zero tolerance policy with aggressive riders. 

"In the event that a customer is unruly or aggressive on board the bus, drivers are trained to pull the bus over in a safe location, contact the local authorities and remove the customer from the bus," it read.

The mother of the toddler is expected to be okay. This case is still under investigation.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said the Greyhound bus driver and two passengers will receive star heroism awards later this year. 

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