Both moms say the other one started it.
As WFTS News reports, there was already bad blood between 26-year-old Tiffani Cruz and 32-year-old Leslie Arguelles. The two moms got into an argument just a few weeks ago when Cruz rebuked Arguelles for yelling at another child at their bus stop in Sarasota County, Florida.
A number of parents and children gather at that bus stop every morning. Cruz told the North Point Sun that Arguelles was “bullying” another child there. However, Arguelles denies any bullying and says she and the child’s parents have since worked it out.
Regardless, the tension between Cruz and Arguelles remained. Last week, it boiled over.
According to Cruz, it was Tuesday morning, and she was watching the children run around at the bus stop when Arguelles approached her:
“She walks directly up to me … she said we need to hash this out; we need to talk about this.”
Cruz told the Sun that she tried to defuse the situation, telling Arguelles, “I’m not trying to fight you,” and, “Leave me alone; get away from me.”
Cruz insists that she acted in self-defense. She told WFTS that Arguelles had cornered her, coming so close that she had no other choice but to respond physically:
“She got this close to my face nudged me with her nose and when she nudged me with her nose — it was her fist going up so my fist was going up.”
After the two came nose to nose, Cruz says Arguelles hit her in the jaw and that’s when Cruz punched back. She said she forgot that she was holding a blue decorative coffee cup at the time. Cruz told the Sun:
“I hit her with the cup. I was trying to get her away from me. I just punched. I didn’t think of what was in my hand. She then picked up a piece of it and attacked me.”
When the coffee cup shattered, Arguelles grabbed a broken shard and attacked Cruz with it. Cruz told WFTS:
“I went to run and that’s when she picked up the glass, ran at me and stabbed me twice in my arm, once at my wrist and in back of my shoulder.”
Arguelles doesn’t believe it was an accident. She told the Sun that Cruz kept coming at her and cursing at her. The mom said:
“She slashed my whole throat. She nearly killed me. I have all the laceration wounds because she had cut the artery of my neck.”
In the course of the fight, Arguelles ended up with a seven-inch shard of mug stuck in her neck. She instinctively pulled it out, which was a near-fatal mistake. The mom began rapidly losing blood and had to be airlifted to the hospital.
Cruz also went to the hospital, where she received 30 external and internal stitches. She says she’ll be out of work for a week as a result.
The altercation took place in front of a crowd of parents and children. One of them told WFTS that it was “crazy” to see parents acting that way and that he had to look away from the bloody scene.
A spokesman for the North Port Police told the Sun that there hasn’t been an arrest yet, as they are still investigating the incident “to make sure they are absolutely certain on the aggressor in this case.”
Arguelles says she believes the attack was “premeditated” and plans to press charges. Cruz, on the other hand, told WFTS:
“I regret the whole incident, there’s no reason it should have happened. We’re adults.”
Cruz says she had to keep her son home from school the next day because of the threats she’s received because of the fight. She isn’t comfortable going back to the bus stop. The mom described the brawl as, “self-defense over an incident that made no sense,” but told the Sun she was ambivalent about pressing charges:
“At the end of the day, I feel like I was defending myself and she should be charged — but I don’t want to see [her children] be without a mother.”