Kids witness mom's brutal attack in Cleveland parking lot - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Kids witness mom's brutal attack in Cleveland parking lot

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CLEVELAND, TN. (WRCB) - Cleveland police say young children were watching, when a man stabbed two women in a parking lot Thursday night. Detectives say Nathan Goforth took off, but they tracked him down Friday.

Thanks to a tip called into Cleveland police, they found Nathan Goforth and his alleged getaway driver Melissa Patterson at the White Water Lodge Friday afternoon.

He's charged with two counts of aggravated assault. She's charged as an accessory.

Witnesses think if they hadn't jumped in, the woman and her friend may not have survived. Now, worries are on the kids who saw the whole thing.

"I've never seen something like that. I'm still shaking. I'm traumatized by it," eyewitness, Caitlin Zeneski says.

Zeneski was on a work break with a friend around 9:30 p.m. across from the Bi-Lo parking lot on McGrady Drive. She says she saw the man police identify as Nathan Goforth, stab two women while putting their kids in a car.

"This man just comes up out of nowhere and just starts beating her and we see blood everywhere," Zeneski says.

The little boys were not injured, but Zeneski says they were covered in the women's blood and crying.

"'Can you please just buckle me up and lock the door because I don't want that evil man to hurt me' and he was like, 'I don't want my mommy to die. Please don't make my mommy die,'" she says.

She took them in Bi-Lo, cleaned them off and calmed them down.

Channel 3 spoke to another witness who didn't want to go on camera. He says he'd just come out to get his wallet from his car when he saw the violent scene unfold.

He says he ran over to help, but the getaway car sped up and off so quickly, all he could do was call 911 and tell what he'd just seen.

"Pulled up and yelled to Mr. Goforth to get in," Cleveland Police Officer Evie West says.

He jumped in the passenger side of an SUV and it took off. One of the stabbing victims told police it was her ex-boyfriend, Nathan Goforth.

Detectives arrested him and Melissa Patterson less than 24-hours later at a Cleveland motel. They believe Patterson was the getaway driver.

"Saw her arm fully exposed and it was horrible and we went over to the other side and we didn't know she was hurt until we saw a hole in her back where he had stabbed her," Zeneski says.

The women are expected to survive. Now police and witnesses worry about their two four-year-old sons, who saw the whole thing from the backseat.

"They're old enough where they can retain those mental images," Officer West says.

Police are questioning Goforth and Patterson to determine the motive.

This is considered a domestic assault, not a random act, since he was one of the victim's exes.

Both women are recovering at Skyridge Medical Center in Cleveland.

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