Woman recounts brutal attack; estranged husband on the run

Woman recounts brutal attack; estranged husband on the run »Play Video
With stitches in her head Monday, April describes how she says her estranged husband, Phillip Howell, attacked her early Saturday morning.

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Police in Beaverton are asking for the public's help finding a man who they said assaulted his estranged wife and her male friend.

Police said 30-year-old Phillip Howell broke into his estranged wife’s home at around 1 a.m. Saturday.

April shared her story Monday in the hope that it will help catch Howell.

"He shoved me backwards. My head flew backwards. He stabbed at me and gave two good slices across my neck," she said.

Her three children witnessed the assault, and she said at one point she ran into the children's room to try to keep Howell out.

Not only does April have a gash on her forehead and 14 staples on her head, but from her shoulder to her chest, she was sliced open.

April and her boyfriend were asleep on the couch the morning of the attack. That's when she said Howell kicked in the door. The two are in the process of getting a divorce.

April said Howell started hitting her and her boyfriend – at one point in front of the three children who were in bed.

She said she believes Howell was trying to take their children but wasn't successful. She said she has custody over them now.

Still April said he was relentless, sending blood everywhere.

"I could feel blood coming (on my chest); I could feel a lot of blood coming (from the right side of my head)," she said. "On the porch when he shoved me back there was still a lot of blood-covered hair in my face so I could only see at this angle. I couldn't up see up to eye level, but I could see form (his chest down). I recognized his clothing. I recognized his shirt."

She said the night before the attack, she talked about how she was done running and didn't want to be afraid anymore. She said her counselor encouraged her to share her story, hoping that it will encourage others to talk about domestic violence. She also said she hoped by coming forward it will help get Howell caught.

Howell is described as a black man who is 6 feet tall and weighs about 165 pounds. He has short, black hair.

He was last seen driving a blue 2001 Dodge Caravan with the Washington license plate "ACF1073".

Howell has ties to Woodburn and Salem. Police believe he may be in one of those cities.

Anyone who sees Howell or his van is asked to call Beaverton Police at 503-629-0111.