A man who police said stabbed a woman several times on Friday as he drove a car just south of Downtown Madison was charged Tuesday with attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Police are still looking for Tony M. Mason, 63, who has lived in Madison and Cambridge, Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said. The woman, who jumped out of the car that Mason was driving along John Nolen Drive just south of Monona Terrace, was still hospitalized Tuesday but is recovering, DeSpain said.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court, the woman told police she and Mason were arguing as they drove to a store Friday afternoon. At one point, as she spoke on her phone with a friend, she heard Mason yell, “I’m gonna stab you!” before the woman felt like she was being punched.

Instead, the complaint states, Mason had stabbed her as he was driving, the woman told police. She said she tried to grab his arm to stop him from stabbing her again, but he switched the knife to his left hand and stabbed her again.

According to the complaint:

The woman told police that the stabbing started as they were on Rimrock Road and continued until she was able to jump out of the car at a stoplight. A witness found the woman standing alone on the bike path along John Nolen Drive, in distress. The woman, who was bloodied, was on the phone with 911 at the time but was speaking incoherently. The witness said she took the woman’s phone and relayed information to the 911 dispatcher.

The first police officer on the scene, Officer Kenneth Brown, reported seeing “an incredible amount of blood” on the woman’s shirt, and she told him, “I’ve been stabbed all over.” He located several stab wounds and put pressure on them until paramedics arrived.

The woman identified Mason, whom she said she has known for about a year, as the person who stabbed her.

Police found the knife believed to have been used in the stabbing, but almost by chance. Investigator Colleen Michaelson was walking to work on Friday afternoon, about two hours after the stabbing, and saw a brown-handled kitchen knife with apparent blood on it on the ground in the 200 block of South Henry Street, a couple blocks away. After arriving at work, she learned that there had been a stabbing, and went back and retrieved the knife.

Doctors told police the 43-year-old woman, who had been stabbed in the chest, lower abdomen and right hand, could have suffered life-threatening complications if she hadn’t received immediate medical treatment. One of the stab wounds cut her right lung.

The stabbing wasn’t the first incident in which Mason hurt the woman. In June, according to a criminal complaint, Mason hit the woman on the head with a metal bar. About two weeks after the incident, she went to a hospital and learned she had a skull fracture.

She told police at the time that Mason was her former boyfriend, and that she had been living with him off and on, the complaint states.

In the complaint, the woman told police she was afraid Mason was eventually going to kill her, but she did not contact police because she is afraid of the police and afraid of retaliation from Mason.

Mason was originally charged with first-degree reckless injury for that incident but pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 18 months of probation.


Ed Treleven is the courts reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.