SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WGHP) -- A Mount Holyoke College professor has been charged in an attack that left her friend semi-conscious and barely breathing and stemmed from what police say was a confession of love.
Rie Hachiyanagi, 48, was arraigned Jan. 3 in a Massachusetts court on charges including assault with intent to murder a victim 60 years or older. She was also charged with multiple counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, armed assault in a dwelling and mayhem. She pleaded not guilty.
Police said the victim was a fellow professor but did not identify her.
Massachusetts State Police responded to a home just after midnight December 24 after Hachiyanagi called to report that she arrived at her friend's home and found her on the floor — barely breathing with a head injury, according to an arrest report. When police arrived, they found Hachiyanagi lying on the floor with the semi-conscious victim.
When police conducted a recorded interview of the woman in the triage room at a local hospital, she told police that she saw Hachiyanagi attack her with her fists, rocks, a fire poker and garden shears, the report said.
When the woman arrived home that night, she told police, Hachiyanagi emerged from a shadow outside her home and said she wanted to talk about her feelings.
The two had been friends for years and had never had a romantic relationship, she told police.
The woman told investigators she asked Hachiyanagi to come inside. When she turned to enter, she told police Hachiyanagi hit her on the head with something hard and repeatedly struck her while saying that she had loved the woman for years, the report said.
Fearing she may die, the woman told police she lied and said she loved Hachiyanagi, too. She told police she was later able to convince Hachiyanagi to call 911.