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DALLAS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The man accused of stabbing a woman with a screwdriver at an Irving health club has been declared fit to stand trial.
Phillip Roberts had initially been found unfit and was sent to a state mental hospital. Doctors now say, with medication, the 32-year-old can understand the case and stand trial. He has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Witnesses said they were suspicious of Roberts from the moment he showed up inside the 24-Hour Fitness Center, along Highway 183 near Story Road, last January. He was not known to be a member and didn’t look like he was at the facility to work out. A woman at the health club called police. During part of her 911 call she said, “He’s inside the gym walking around, with a top coat on and a suitcase. He’s kind of like, uh, looking at people crazy.”
Moments after the emergency call Roberts allegedly took a screwdriver and began stabbing a woman who was working out on an elliptical machine. The victim, a 49-year-old mother of four, was stabbed several times but survived. Three men at the gym were able to pin Roberts down and hold him until police arrived.
After the attack someone placed another emergency call, saying, “A man just attacked a woman here, they’ve got him restrained right now. She needs an ambulance.”
Roberts is charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. After his arrest he spoke with CBS 11 News from jail and said he was still trying to figure out what he did. “I’m sitting in jail, all these things have hit me at one time, and I’m saying to myself, ‘what have I done?'”
At the time of the attack Roberts said he had been homeless for six months and had been carrying the screwdriver in his pocket for protection.
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