Exam ordered for woman in fire chief's attack

Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 07, 2016

A judge has ordered an exam to determine whether a woman accused of randomly stabbing Denver's fire chief is mentally competent to stand trial.

The Denver Postreported Monday that 42-year-old Marlene Zacevich-Rodriguez's attorneys requested she undergo a competency exam at the state mental hospital in Pueblo.

Prosecutors charged her with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault in January after police said she stabbed Chief Eric Tade near the department's headquarters. Police say Tade was in an unmarked SUV when the woman jumped into the vehicle and stabbed him in the hand and leg. He was treated for minor injuries.

Tade said he didn't know the woman who stabbed him, nor why she did it.

“I pulled up to the light (at Colfax & Speer) and was making a phone call to a Division Chief about a fire prevention issue,” he said. “The last thing I remember was telling him, ‘Hold on.’ That’s obviously when the stabbing occurred.”

Tade wouldn’t go into detail about the attack, saying police asked him not to.

He did say it was a surreal experience.

“The scariest thing was being trapped or being restrained while it was going on,” he said.

Rodriguez’s son told Denver7 that his mom “hallucinates” and that he questions her sanity.

Investigators say the attack appears to have been random and unprovoked.

Prosecutors say it's unclear how long the evaluation will take. Zacevich-Rodriguez is due in court again on May 16.