Person of interest in custody after woman, 1-year-old stabbed in Center City: Police

Officers said in a press conference on Saturday that both attacks seem to be completely random.


Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in Philadelphia. (Google maps)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

A person of interest is in custody after police say a woman stabbed two people in Philadelphia on Saturday, including a 1-year-old.

The first stabbing took place at approximately 8 a.m. on the 1300 block of Chancellor Street in Center City.

Investigators say the suspect, who they believe is 29-year-old Takeira Hester, ran up to a 24-year-old woman and stabbed her in the chest before fleeing the area.

“This offender just runs up, quick stab, runs,” noted Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Banford.

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The victim was transported to Jefferson University Hospital, where she was treated and later released.

The second stabbing happened just after noon on the 300 block of South 18th Street outside Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel (BZBI) synagogue.

Police say Hester ran up to two parents and their twin 1-year-old boys, who were in strollers.

“It looked like this female just rushed up to them, nothing was said, completely random, tried to stab both children but got one child in each arm,” said Banford.

The children’s father chased after the suspect, who dropped her handbag but was able to flee the scene, according to police. That handbag is now being used in the investigation.

“I heard a guy shouting, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!'” recalled Ashley Jeong from Center City. “The baby was crying.”

The 1-year-old was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is listed in stable condition.

Officers said in a press conference on Saturday that both attacks appear to be random.

In a statement to Action News, the synagogue also confirmed the attack near its property was not antisemitic.

Hester was previously arrested for aggravated assault and has a warrant out of New York City for aggravated assault charges that occurred days before.

Investigators are not sure whether she has ties to the Philadelphia area.

Officers did not provide any further details on the case.

As the investigation continues, residents told Action News they’re concerned over the unusual violence in the area.

“Horrible, it’s so crazy,” said Samantha Schwartz. “I used to feel comfortable walking in this area and now I don’t at any time.”

“I think it’s terribly disturbing,” added Andy Shull from Rittenhouse. “I think something needs to be done about this and what’s going on is uncalled for.”

“Something needs to be done and it’s gotta be done soon because the same thing is going to happen again,” Shull added.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the police.

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