PHOENIX – 27-year-old Christopher Gale was arrested on Sunday for a second time on suspicion of aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder. The incident took place at a Phoenix Walgreens store.
According to police reports, the crime actually occurred in September 2013 when Gale stabbed a stranger using an eight-inch knife he had bought from a Walmart store just a few hours before the stabbing. He went to a Walgreens store about four miles away from the Walmart store, approached a woman who was shopping and stabbed her in the neck from behind. The woman started screaming and an armed off-duty federal agent, who happened to be in the store, ran over from the checkout line where he was standing and pulled the weapon away from the woman and ordered Gale to get on the ground and put the knife down.
Gale was arrested for a previous crime but was found incompetent to stand trial for the charges he was facing. The charges against Gale were dismissed in May 2013 by a court commissioner and he was ordered to receive treatment at a psychiatric facility which he did. After his release from Desert Vista Behavior Health, a mental health facility in Mesa, Gale was subsequently arrested for the stabbing. According to the court documents, when Gale stabbed the woman at the Walmart store, she turned around to face her attacker who told her, “I’m killing you to save the world.”
The woman suffered a puncture wound which needed several staples. She was able to push away her attacker.
Gale later told the police that he bought the eight-inch knife to “stab and kill” someone.
According to Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, it is not yet decided if any charges will be filed again against Gale.
Gale had a run-in with the law in 2012 also when he was arrested on the suspicion of indecent exposure and drug-related offenses. He pled guilty to the reduced charges in that case.
Gale appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court on Friday for an initial appearance and is being held on $1 million bond on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. His lawyer , Roger Margolis, did not immediately return a call Friday for comment. The attorney was appointed on the orders of a commissioner to represent Gale in court.
Online court records did not describe the alleged crimes which Gale is facing. However, the commissioner who ordered Gale to undergo psychiatric treatment said in a May 29 order that Gale was a danger to others as well as to himself. He also said that he is unable to understand the nature of proceedings against him and needed assistance in his defense.