Attacks may have been caused by breakdown

Craig woman's report of child abuse, attacks on officers allegedly caused by mental breakdown

The Craig women who attacked three officers and attempted to escape from jail is blaming a severe mental breakdown for her actions.

On Jan. 26, Craig Police officers who responded to a call at 421 Russell St. were attacked by Angelic Holmquist, 31, who was attempting to file a report of sexual abuse on her child. Police restrained Holmquist because they believed she was under the influence of drugs. The officers brought her to the jail, where mechanical and human error allowed her to escape momentarily. She was recaptured, but again attacked the officers who caught her.

Holmquist was arrested on charges of second-degree assault/assault of an officer, criminal mischief and unlawful use of a controlled substance.

According to Holmquist, she was experiencing a "mental breakdown" when she called the Craig Police. The report of a sexual assault on her child was partially a reliving of her own history of sexual abuse, Holmquist said.

"I called for help, but I dialed the wrong number. I should have called [Craig] mental health," she said. "The officers weren't equipped to give me the type of help I was needing.

"I thought, because of things that have happened to me in the past, that my kids' father had done something to them. I was going through the photo album because I was trying to decipher what had actually happened to me in the past."

The impression that she was under the influence of drugs is understandable, but the ambulance or a mental health specialist should have been called, Holmquist said.

"The officers attitudes were not helping or concerned," she said. "I have a pit bull, and the officers were very aggressive from the get go. I was looking for comfort."

The mental breakdown Holmquist was suffering was only worsened when the responding officers began to physically take control of the situation.

"Once they took me forcefully down, it triggered even more memories of sexual abuse things were coming up from my past," she said. "I felt like the officers were going to do something bad to me. In my mind, they weren't the police. They were the sexual abusers who had attacked me in the past."

When officers went to put her in the cruiser, Holmquist was yelling to her kids to call 911 because "I honestly didn't believe they actually were the police. I thought they were taking me away to do bad things or to kill me."

Being restrained in the combative holding cell further deteriorated Holmquist's mental state.

"I know I did some really bad things, and I'm really embarrassed now that I'm me," she said. "I don't even remember talking to anyone from mental health in the jail."

Holmquist has been free on bond and back home with her two children and boyfriend since Tuesday. She is feeling much better, and has talked with counselors at Craig Mental Health, Holmquist said.

"The counselor told me that the past abuse could keep coming up, and now with my kids going into puberty, it could be a trigger," she said. "Dealing with sexual abuse is a long-term situation."

Holmquist is due in court on Feb. 5 for an advisement hearing.

According to Craig Police Administrative Sergeant Bill Leonard, the case is still under investigation, and the department had no further comment.

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