Suicidal woman tries to run over deputy

PALMDALE – A suicidal 60-year-old woman was jailed early Wednesday morning after trying to run over a deputy who was trying to save her, authorities said. The woman also led several deputies on a chase throughout the city and slashed her wrist with a knife before she was pepper sprayed into submission, according to a Palmdale Station press report.

Monika Coombs was arrested around 5:40 a.m. for assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and booked on $1 million bail, according to the LASD inmate system. She is also being treated for self-inflicted wounds and was put under mental observation.

The following is the press report from the Palmdale Station:

Palmdale deputies thwarted a suicide attempt Wednesday morning after chasing a 60-year-old woman throughout the city.

The incident began after deputies responded to the 1000 Block of East Avenue S, around midnight, regarding a critical missing adult.

The informant on the call, the missing person’s son, indicated to handling deputies that his mother, 60-year-old Monika Coombs, was missing and believed to be suicidal. She had left the home that evening in her Honda CRV. The son worried that, based on her previous medical history and current state of mind, she might attempt to take her life.

Deputies immediately broadcasted the description of both Coombs and her vehicle to assisting units, who began canvasing the area for her vehicle.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. deputies discovered Coombs’ [vehicle] parked near 40th Street East and Avenue Q-12.

As deputies approached the vehicle, Coombs accelerated her car and swerved toward one of the deputies in an attempt to run him over. The deputy was able to narrowly jump out of the way of the moving vehicle to safety.

Using their handheld radios, deputies notified assisting units of Coombs’ actions and last seen direction of travel. Approximately 10 minutes later, assisting units found Coombs’ vehicle stuck in the sand near the 38200 Block of 37th Street East.

The vehicle appeared to be abandoned as deputies approached. As deputies neared the car, they saw Coombs lying down in the front seat attempting to cut her upper arm with a kitchen knife. Deputies also saw what appeared to be a note, indicating regret for Coombs’ actions, taped to the inside of her vehicle’s window.

Fearing Coombs was attempting to take her life, deputies used their flashlight to break one of the windows. At the same time, Coombs began slashing her wrist with the knife and ignored deputies’ orders to drop the knife.

In order to prevent Coombs from injuring herself further, deputies administered pepper spray into the interior of the vehicle, which caused Coombs to comply with deputies orders.

Coombs was transported to a local medical facility and treated for her wounds before being booked at the Palmdale Sheriff Station for Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer. She was subsequently transported to Twin Towers Jail Facility where she is receiving continuing treatment for her self-inflicted wounds and mental observation.

Coombs is currently being held on [$1 million] bail with an arraignment date of July 13, 2012. The ongoing investigation is being handled by the Palmdale Sheriff Station’s Detective Bureau.