A Rancho Cordova man is in the Sacramento County jail on a no-bail hold, accused of attempting to kill a fetus. Police say 27-year-old John Collins hit a pregnant woman in the stomach with a baseball bat.
According to Elk Grove police, Collins and the pregnant woman have a child together, and they arranged to meet in an Elk Grove residential neighborhood on Saturday for a custody exchange.
“They got into a verbal argument,” explained officer Chris Trim of the Elk Grove Police Department. “During that argument, Mr. Collins pulled out a baseball bat and began smashing out the windows of the vehicle that the victim in this case had been driven up in. Inside that vehicle were some small children and additional witnesses to the event.”
According to Trim, the woman got away in the damaged vehicle, but the suspect followed her to a nearby retail parking lot where the confrontation resumed.
“During that time, he armed himself with a baseball bat again,” said Trim. ”And, according to the victim, swung the baseball bat, striking her in the stomach. She is seven months pregnant.”
In addition to attempted homicide, Collins is charged with domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon and making death threats.
The woman was taken to a local hospital. She and her unborn child are said to be okay.
According to California Penal Code 187 (a), ”Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” A similar federal law went into effect in 2004, known as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, or Laci and Conner’s Law.
In light of the fact that the suspect and victim were meeting for a custody exchange, Trim advises, ”We always recommend that if there’s any of type situation where there’s some history of violence involved…come to the local police department and do your custody exchanges there. It’s a lot safer.”