Professor accused of attacking co-worker with rock, fire poker, garden shears

Regional News

Rie Hachiyanagi was arrested on December 24, 2019

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass (WWLP) – A Mount Holyoke College professor is being held without bail after an alleged violent attack on her colleague, and friend that she knew for 14 years, over winter break.

Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Mary Carey told 22News, 48-year-old Rie Hachiyanagi was arraigned in Orange District Court on Friday and is being held in the Franklin County House of correction until her next hearing on February 4.

Rie Hachiyanagi charged with:

  • Mayhem
  • Assault to Murder +60, Armed
  • Assault & Battery with Dangerous Weapon +60
  • Assault & Battery with Dangerous Weapon +60
  • Assault & Battery with Dangerous Weapon +60
  • Assault in Dwelling, Armed

Carey said Hachiyanagi is accused of assaulting the victim in the victim’s Leverett home from December 23 to December 24, beating them with a rock, fire poker, and garden shears. The victim is expected to survive but has severe injuries.

“People are capable of lots of scary things so I mean unfortunately, that does happen but it is kind of scary to hear that it can happen so close to home.”

Catherine Vaughan, South Hadley resident

According to the police report filed by State Police, the victim stated, in an audio-recorded interview, that Hachiyanagi showed up to her house wanting to talk about her feelings and attacked her. When the victim opened the door to let Hachiyanagi in, the victim said she turned around and Hachiyanagi hit her over the head with “something hard” and then repeatedly hit her over the head.

The victim stated in the police report that she met Hachiyanagi in August 2005 and they were friends.

Rie Hachiyanagi Arrest Report

Mount Holyoke statement:

“During the winter recess, there was a serious incident involving two Mount Holyoke faculty members. The incident occurred off-campus and resulted in the hospitalization of one faculty member who is receiving care. We understand that the other faculty member involved is in custody and facing criminal charges. This individual has been placed on administrative leave from the College and is not permitted on our campus pending further review of the incident. We will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies in support of their ongoing investigations.

We take very seriously the safety and well-being of every member of our community, and the College is providing support to impacted parties as appropriate.”

Mount Holyoke

Hachiyanagi is on administrative leave and is not allowed on campus pending an investigation.

“I mean they are well educated well informed usually. I guess you don’t always expect that but it could be anybody.”

Johnathan Vaughn

22News will continue to cover this story and will have the latest updates on WWLP.com.

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