A Gastonia man is accused of assaulting his ex-wife with a knife early Monday morning and taking their three small children for nearly six hours. An AMBER Alert was issued before lunch Monday and the kids were found safely a short time later.
According to police, Antoine L. Allen, Senior, 32, is accused of assaulting his ex-wife with a knife around 5:30 a.m. in a van on South New Hope Road near the U.S. Post Office.
Court documents show there has been a pattern of domestic violence. Things got so bad the ex-wife checked into a shelter for battered women, according to the documents. After the attack, the victim was able to get herself to safety while bleeding.
"She was able to drive herself to the shelter here in Gastonia," Gastonia Police Department Public Information Officer Donna Lahser said. "And police were called from there."
The woman was transported to Caromont Regional Medical Center, has life-threatening injuries and is in critical but stable condition. Allen is facing attempted second degree murder charges in connection with the incident.
"Shocking for it to be so close," neighbor Abigail Webber said. "Just a few doors down. It really scares me."
At first, police said children were 8, 7, and 6 years old, but there is some confusion over ages. The kids were found safely at a relative's home in Charlotte shortly after an AMBER alert was issued statewide Monday morning.
"That's a blessing," Webber said. "He had that much sense to do that."
Allen is described as a black male 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Police say his occupation is a truck driver. He was last seen driving an all white 18-wheeler tractor trailer with Alpha Trans written on it.
The tractor has Indiana license plate 2197451. There is also a Great Dane flatbed trailer attached with Indiana license plate P416338.
"He is a truck driver," Lahser said. "I've heard his route includes Canada, so he can be in a lot of locations."
Neighbors hope he is found sooner rather than later.
"I pray that the policeman do their job," Webber said. "Which I am sure they will and catch this fellow...he is desperate right now."
Anyone spotting the suspect is asked to call Gastonia Police at (704) 866-6702 or call Crimestoppers at (704)861-6000. There is a reward for information that will lead to an arrest.
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