SALEM — As soon as she saw the young man get on the shuttle bus at South Campus, she thought he appeared “suspicious,” one of the passengers told police.
The man, wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, didn’t have a backpack and was giving the driver “weird looks,” the student, a 20-year-old from Lynn, told investigators.
The bus driver, too, had noticed Timothy Wells. The 22-year-old Brockton man, a driver for Cavalier Coach, told police that Wells sat down at the back of the bus and stayed on for four or five loops through the campus.
Then, as the bus pulled into Central Campus, Wells suddenly ran from the back of the bus toward a 23-year-old Salem woman who had boarded near the Harrington Building, witnesses told police.
Police say that man was Wells, 25, of Woburn, who is now facing two counts each of armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Details of what happened aboard the bus emerged from court papers filed by the Salem State University Police in their application for a warrant and criminal charges against Wells, who was arrested late Wednesday in upstate New York.
The woman said Wells, whom she did not know or recognize, started hitting her in the chest with some sort of metal object, then used the same object to hit her right hand.
She began screaming.
The driver later told police that he heard the commotion behind him and turned to see the man “struggling” with one of the female passengers. When the driver went over to help the woman, Wells turned on him, stabbing at him four or five times before making contact with the center of his chest. Then Wells fled.
The driver used the campus police radio channel to report a stabbing on his bus. Officers arrived to find the driver, still on the bus, bleeding from his chest.