Prosecutors are charging a 28-year-old man with attempted first-degree murder after prosecutors say he slashed a woman’s throat at Fred Meyer in an unprovoked attack.

Muhammad Haris Tariq was also charged with first-degree assault and felony violation of a protective order, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jared Boswell said Wednesday.

Tariq is accused of slashing the throat of a 66-year-old woman in the produce section of the North 40th Avenue Fred Meyer around noon Saturday.

The woman told police that she was shopping when someone pulled her head back from behind before cutting her across her throat, according to court documents. Her injuries were not life threatening, police said.

Surveillance video from the store also showed Tariq approaching another woman first, but he walked away after she turned toward him, court documents said.

Witnesses said Tariq calmly walked out of the store with the knife that Yakima police said he had stolen from the housewares section of the store, and left in a vehicle he took from his family without their permission, court documents said.

Police and a Yakima County sheriff’s deputy recognized Tariq’s picture from prior encounters with him, the documents said. He was arrested Saturday evening in West Valley, police said.

The protective order charge stems from the fact that he was at his family’s home the day before, and has a protective order barring him from being near his brother, according to court documents.

On July 4, 2019, he was accused of stabbing his brother twice during a fight at the family home. He entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity before pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in that case.

Tariq has prior convictions for violating no-contact orders and third-degree assault, according to court records. The third-degree assault charge stems from an incident where he swung a samurai sword at two women outside a Chestnut Avenue fruit warehouse in 2018.

At the time of his arrest, he was being considered for the county’s Mental Health Court after being charged with violating the no-contact order, eluding and driving with a suspended license. Tariq was transferred to Comprehensive Healthcare for an evaluation July 14, but he left without authorization the next day, Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic said in a statement on the Yakima Herald-Republic’s Facebook page.

Tariq is being held in the Yakima County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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