Mental health evaluation ordered for driver charged in Puyallup parking lot rampage

TACOMA -- The driver who police say intentionally ran over a woman in a Puyallup parking lot was charged with assault Monday.

Prosecutors say Autumn Cornyn attacked employees with her car at Good Samaritan Behavioral Health as they were trying to walk into work Friday morning.

According to charging documents, Cornyn had a “blank look on her face” right before she hit a female employee with her car.

“She was driving erratically in the parking lot, cutting off cars, cutting off people, then finally she focused in on one individual and actually hit her,” Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said.

Detectives say Cornyn cornered the victim with her car a couple of times before she jumped a parking median, striking the victim head-on.

"There is no connection we know of, of the victim and the defendant; this appears to be a random targeting,” Lindquist said.

The impact fractured the victim’s vertebrae. She told detectives Cornyn lapped the parking lot to try to run her over again but Cornyn lost control, hitting a light pole.

“It could have been horrific. What if she was between the lamp post and the car?"  Becca Craig asked.

Craig said she knows employees who work at the mental health facility and was grateful to hear no one died from the incident. She believes a bizarre rampage can happen anywhere these days.

“She shouldn’t be behind the wheel,” Craig said.

Prosecutors agree Cornyn is a danger to society and a judge made sure she will remain behind bars for now.

“No amount of bail can be posted to secure your release. You will remain in Pierce County Court until further order of the court,” the judge said.

Cornyn did not enter a plea because the court wants her to get a mental evaluation first before doing so. Her next court date is Oct. 2.