W DC: Suspect in Montgomery Mall Stabbing Identified


Harry Tuttle
May 26, 2005, 09:39 PM
Suspect in Montgomery Mall Stabbing Identified

By Lori Aratani, Allan Lengel and David Snyder
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, May 26, 2005; 4:05 PM

Antoinette C. Starks, 48, who is charged with stabbing two women at a Nordstrom store in a Montgomery County mall last night, was ordered today to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Court documents released today show that Starks, of the 6000 block of Greenbelt Road in Greenbelt, was released from prison on Tuesday after being convicted of a charge of destruction of property. They also allege that the weapon used in the attacks was two kitchen knives taped together.

Starks, who appeared today before Maryland District Court Judge Gary Everngam, is being held in the Montgomery County Detention Center without bond.

Police said last night that the stabbings appeared to be random. One woman shopper was stabbed repeatedly and then the attacker calmly walked to an escalator and began striking a second woman with the knife. The violence, which sent dozens of screaming customers running for the store exits, ended when an off-duty FBI agent who witnessed the second stabbing pulled out his gun, ordered the woman to drop the knife and arrested her, police said.

Both women were taken to hospitals with injuries that were thought not to be life-threatening.

"At this time, we believe this was random," Lt. Eric Burnett, a spokesman for Montgomery County police, said last night. "We have no idea what prompted this assault."

The incident began about 6:55 p.m. at Westfield Shoppingtown Montgomery -- the shopping center on Democracy Boulevard formerly known as Montgomery Mall -- when a woman attacked a 24-year-old shopper in the customer service area on the store's third floor. The shopper was stabbed in the abdomen and upper back, police said, and suffered defensive wounds on both arms.

Irina Slutsky was riding up to the third floor when a saleswoman came running toward the escalator and told riders: "Go back down! Go back down!"

Slutsky had already reached the third floor, where she saw a woman gripping what Slutsky said appeared to be a kitchen knife in her right hand, held at her side.

"It was dripping blood, not a lot, but it was dripping blood," Slutsky said. "Unless you were paying attention, you couldn't see the knife." The attacker "was walking calmly toward the down escalator," she said.

The assailant then headed down the escalator toward the second floor and started attacking a woman wearing a pink sweater and black pants, Slutsky said.

"She kind of leaned over and started stabbing this woman in the back," said Slutsky, who is visiting from San Francisco. The second victim, who authorities said was in her twenties, "started running down on the escalator, trying to get away, and the woman with the knife started running after her," Slutsky said.

Moments later, Adam Karcher, an FBI agent who had been behind the attacker on the escalator, intervened and arrested her, police said. Karcher was not available for comment last night.

Some witnesses reported hearing gunshots, but authorities said no shots were fired.

Robin Wexler of Bethesda, who was with his wife, Elaine, said he was shopping for sneakers on the second floor, near the escalator, when he heard "people screaming. It sounded like an argument."

"Initially, everyone just ran in all different directions screaming," he said. He said employees directed him, his wife and a few other customers into a stockroom. Shortly afterward, they were told to leave the store, he said.

"It's very weird to go out, buy a pair of shoes and all of sudden, all hell breaks loose," Wexler said.

One of the victims was being treated last night at Washington Hospital Center; the other was at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. A county fire department spokesman said two people in the store were treated for breathing problems.

Deniz Anders, a Nordstrom spokeswoman at the company's headquarters in Seattle, said the retailer was preparing to provide psychological help to employees.

"We're extremely concerned about the condition [of] the two women involved in the incident and all of our employees and customers," Anders said. "We are extremely grateful to the FBI agent for taking quick action."

The store reopened this morning.

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May 26, 2005, 10:14 PM
I thought DC was a gun-free utopia :confused:

Standing Wolf
May 26, 2005, 11:55 PM
Deniz Anders, a Nordstrom spokeswoman at the company's headquarters in Seattle, said the retailer was preparing to provide psychological help to employees.

If Nordstrom were serious about providing "psychological help," it would publicly advocate CCW and shall issue for Marylanders.

Harry Tuttle
May 27, 2005, 12:27 AM
The news last night was full of reports of people hiding in closets from the knife lady.

Were i there, she would of been clocked with a mannequin.

2nd Amendment
May 27, 2005, 12:38 AM

I know, I'm sorry...



May 27, 2005, 01:47 AM
Standing Wolf, you don't know the half of it. Even if one of the nuetered males in Montgomery County had managed to find his backbone, and utilized a baseball bat from the sporting goods section (or even a decent umbrella) to stop the assailant, they would undoubtedly have been prosecuted for assault themselves and dubbed a vigilante by the local press.

Isn't this state wonderful? :banghead:

May 27, 2005, 02:54 AM
Two thoughts on this:

First, an example of how our criminal justice system fails to protect citizens. The woman was released TUESDAY and stabbed these people on Wednesday :fire: :cuss:

Secondly, I heard on the radio about the FBI agent and thought to myself, "I bet he pulled his weapon on her" but of course the news meticulously omitted this little tidbit.

Hmmm......this happened in the Gail Gunn creature's back yard practically. Too bad that people like her will only see the part about the knife and how it hurt people and not how the agent with the gun stopped the attacker from hurting anyone else.

May 27, 2005, 07:23 AM
Now, if MD would use the same Knife-ban suggested in a thread above, this whole incident never would have happened. :rolleyes: {sarcasm mode off}

Take 2 Prozac at the door................have a nice day!

May 27, 2005, 07:44 AM
How about removing an upper appendage from a mannequin and giving a sound thrashing.......you know, "bare arms" :D
Sorry Harry, you opened the door.....

May 27, 2005, 08:45 AM
Adam Karcher, an off-duty FBI agent from the Philadelphia office who is on assignment in the District, told investigators he saw Starks thrust a butcher knife several times into Jacqueline Greismann, 48, of Potomac, who was descending the escalator from the third level to the second, according to court papers.

The attacks ended when Karcher pointed his service weapon at Starks and ordered her to drop her knife. She complied, police said.

At least the Washington Post had the courage to point out that the FBI agent actually drew his gun

May 27, 2005, 09:07 AM
Hey - What just a gall-dern Minute now...Was that a GUN used to stop a crime??? That's can't be right. I always thought that Washington DC was supposed to be a Crime-Free Zone now that they got rid of all the Evil Guns !

May 27, 2005, 09:52 AM
Bratch, Capt Mike-
Mongomery Mall is in Bethesday Maryland, not that there's much difference between there and DC :barf:

May 27, 2005, 07:55 PM
Its all Yankee-fied Liberal hellhole to me.

No offense to my northern neighbors you can make fun of my accent. ;)

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