A Seattle woman was randomly attacked with a butcher knife while she was pushing her baby in a stroller Monday in broad daylight, say police.
The suspect, Kierra Ward, 26, was being held in King County Jail on charges of first and second-degree assault. Bail was being requested at $400,000 due to the "extreme danger" she poses to the community.
According to charging documents, the victim, Sarah Hanson, was walking on a West Seattle sidewalk with her son in a stroller Monday afternoon when the suspect walked up behind the victim.
"I heard footsteps behind me," said Hanson.
She had no reason to panic and thought it was someone else out for a walk, until she felt the knife. The suspect slashed the victim's face and head; when the victim crouched to cover herself with her arms and hands, the suspect stabbed the victim's hand, exposing her bones and tendons.
Afraid for her baby's safety, Hanson gradually led her attacker away from the stroller and 5-month-old Luke. Then she focused on getting neighbors' attention.
"I started screaming 'Call 911,'" said Hansen. "She's attacking me with a knife. I have a baby!"
Some neighbors called police, another grabbed her baby and took him inside to safety. 79-year-old Bruce Johnson stepped in between the victim and attacker, who threatened to stab him as well.
"I'm not a brave person, but there was nobody else. I just had to do it," said Johnson.
He calmly confronted the attacker and tried to keep the focus on him. Then directed Hanson across the street to a group of people.
"Yeah, she came up to this corner and got with those people and I knew she'd be all right," said Johnson.
Multiple police officers arrived at the scene to find the attacker standing on the sidewalk, holding a knife in her hand. After talking with the defendant, officers managed to arrest her.
The victim suffered multiple large lacerations above her left eye and the back of her head requiring 20 stitches. She also suffered cuts to her nose, chin and a deep knife wound to her left hand.
Charging documents say the defendant said she was homeless; although she has no known prior criminal history, "Her willingness to brutally attack a mother and a neighbor in broad daylight raises severe concerns about the public's safety if she were to be released into the community," say police.
Hanson says she plans to get together with Johnson sometime over the weekend to have a cup of coffee and say thank you.
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