The scene unfolded in the parking lot of an apartment complex behind the Aberdeen Shopping Plaza Monday night---a former couple engaged in a shouting match in Spanish.
Trevor Lilley didn't understand the language, but he knew trouble when he saw it.
"They got into an argument and they came outside and there was a big tussle,” said Lilley, “He was over the top of her with a child and everything. It was crazy."
As the argument intensified, Lilley and some neighbors moved towards them to intervene.
"We had actually. It was four people,” recounted Lilley, “We all came up here to where this car was and noticed he had a knife. As soon as he had a knife, we backed off."
Police say 38-year old Jose Cruz-Algarin then turned the knife on the woman stabbing her eight times about the head and upper torso.
Witnesses say the fact that she was holding their 17-month-old daughter in her arms didn't stop him.
"The little girl was actually in the mother's hands at first, and then when she got stabbed, she dropped the little girl and he proceeded to pick up the child," said Lilley.
Officers with the Aberdeen Police Department arrived on the scene and spotted the suspect holding the child with a knife protruding from his waistband.
He dropped the weapon as officers drew their service revolvers.
A review of court records reveals the same man threatened the same woman last year, but it wasn't with a knife.
It was with a screwdriver, and he claimed he was going to kill her.
It appears it was only through the efforts of police and paramedics that both the victim and her daughter escaped this time with their lives.
"There was a successful resolution in terms of him dropping the knife, but the baby in hand, this could have went a lot more tragic as well," said Lt. William Reiber of the Aberdeen Police Department.
Paramedics treated the 32-year-old woman at the scene and she was flown by medevac helicopter to the Shock Trauma Center where she is in serious, but stable condition.
The suspect is being held on a series of charges including Attempted Second Degree Murder.