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UPDATED: Exchange Student Attacked With Hatchet In Downtown Nashville
Updated February 19, 2016 8:50 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(NASHVILLE) - An 18-year-old female exchange student was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital after being hit in the back with a hatchet in downtown Nashville.

Brown County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Mike Moore say the woman, who is staying with a local family in Nashville, was taking pictures at the corner of Van Buren and Gould streets when the attack occurred, "out of the blue."

Police arrested 59-year-old Dana Ericson of Nashville. Police say Ericson has a long history of psychological issues telling police he intended to kill the Asian woman in an act of "ethnic cleansing. He told police he was a white supremacist and that he set out to kill the woman.

Police say that the two did not know each other and there was no connection between Ericson and the teen's host family.

Police say the teen's injuries are serious, but not critical. The girl who was taking photos for a class project, suffered a deep long laceration on her back near her spine. She was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital.

Ericson told police he was walking when he saw the woman taking pictures. He then yelled at the teen and ran across the street hitting her with a small Gerber hatchet with a blade about 4 inches wide and 6 inches long.

Police says Ericson hit the teen twice, a thick jacket the teen was wearing helped protect her from the attack.

The teen fell to the ground and Ericson ran from the scene. A female witness followed him , while others attended to to the teen and called police.

Officers found Ericson quickly and he was arrested on charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery and battery. No bond has been set, and he is expected to appear in Brown Circuit Court today for a preliminary hearing.

Ericson's criminal record in Brown County list several arrest on charges of battery, intimidation, resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct, stalking and others. Several have been dismissed over the past 20 years after Ericson agreed to continue mental health treatment.

Court records show Ericson has spent a lot of time at IU Health Bloomington Hospital's psychiatric ward. In 2007, he spent months as an inpatient at the Evansville State Hospital, a psychiatric facility.

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