This undated photo released by the Arlington, Va., County Police Department shows Elias Abuelazam. Abuelazam was charged Thursday with assault with intent to murder in connection with a July 27 stabbing in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Arlington County Police Department)
The man arrested Thursday in a string of stabbings in three states was married to a North Texas woman, but they divorced three years ago, his former father-in-law said.
In Crowley, Abuelazam’s former father-in-law, Jim Hirth, said his daughter married him in 2004 and that they divorced in 2007 after "verbal abuse and some other things."
Asked if Abuelazam was ever violent toward her, Hirth said, “I believe so, yes.”
He declined to elaborate but added that the abuse was the reason she filed for divorce. He said his daughter was shaken up by Abuelazam's arrest.
"It's affecting her a lot,” Hirth said. “Imagine being with somebody and then, all the sudden, years down the way, realizing that, 'Hey, wait a minute. He could have possibly done this.' That's kind of hard to think about."
Abuelaza, an Israeli citizen and legal U.S. resident, is suspected in a three-month stabbing spree that left five men dead and 13 others wounded.Most of the stabbings occurred in Flint, Mich.