WEST VALLEY – A man is booked into jail after police say he took a knife to his wife’s throat while she was driving and their baby was in the car with them.
Police affidavits say Isac Garcia and his wife were driving home from a party where he had a lot to drink. He was sitting in the back, along with their newborn child. While she was on Bangerter Highway, police say he became enraged, grabbed a knife and sliced her throat and face several times. The document also says the woman was holding her neck but still bleeding profusely when she ran into a hospital for help. The cut in Garcia’s wife’s throat, police say, was just centimeters away from being deadly.
The affidavit continues to say Garcia admitted he was trying to kill his wife, and he’d been violent with her in the past. However, court records don’t show he’d ever been charged with domestic violence before.
Utah Domestic Violence Coalition Executive Director Jenn Oxborrow says just because Garcia had never been charged, that doesn’t mean the victim hadn’t reached out for help. She says many people who look for this kind of help don’t actually find it.
“We have 13 shelters serving 29 counties,” Oxborrow said.
The fact that this attack happened in front of a child is especially concerning for Oxborrow. She says even if a baby is too young to understand what was happening, they can still suffer from it.
“Toxic stress for infants, even babies in utero, when that stress hormone cortisol goes up and people are afraid, it is very devastating to brain development,” she said. “Violence and aggression perpetrated in front of kids is some of the most lethal violence.”
Oxborrow says many people ask domestic violence victims why they didn’t leave their abuser or why they stayed silent about the pain they were going through. She says it’s best to avoid putting any kind of blame on the victim since there are many reasons why this happens. Sometimes, the person may fear retaliation if they call the police. In other cases, the abused person still loves the person hurting them. In any case, Oxborrow says it’s best to ask the victim what they want instead of telling them what they need.
“Stay out of judgements and really just ask the person what it is that they want instead of what you want for them,” she says.
Garcia was booked for aggravated assault, domestic violence and intoxication.
The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online: udvc.org.
Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting:
- Utah Domestic Violence Coalition: Utah’s confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465)
- YWCA Women in Jeopardy program: 801-537-8600
- Utah’s statewide child abuse and neglect hotline: 1-855-323-DCFS (3237)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
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