A group of young people had a very unusual and disturbing request made to them Friday night on the Near West Side: A woman asked if she could kill them.

The unidentified woman briefly had a knife in hand before she was tackled to the ground and lost the knife. The woman fled the scene but was found later and taken into custody, Madison police said.

The incident happened at about 11:30 p.m. on Regent Street at Coyne Court.

The four friends, three 18-year-old women and a 19-year-old man, were walking on Regent Street when the woman came up to them, her arms wide open.

"She began hugging a couple of the female victims, and then stepped back," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain. "She allegedly asked them 'Can I kill you tonight?'"

The 24-year-old Madison woman allegedly was holding a steak knife in her hand.

"At that moment, the man took the suspect to the ground," DeSpain said. "At some point she lost control of the knife, one of the other victims kicked it away and threw it down a storm drain."

The man let the suspect get off the ground, and she ran, but UW-Madison and city of Madison police found her and took her into custody.

"She appeared to be having significant mental health issues and was taken to a hospital," DeSpain said.

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

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