Two men were stabbed by a woman wielding scissors outside a gay bar that has long been a fixture in the LGBTQ community and the city’s West End neighborhood.
According to a news release from the Metropolitan Police Department, police arrested 35-year-old Mary Kennedy, who has no fixed address, for allegedly assaulting the two men after they stepped out of The Fireplace, at 22nd and P Streets NW. The neighborhood venue is popular among members of Washington’s Black LGBTQ community.
According to a police incident report, one of the victims was walking in the 2100 block of P Street, near the Z-Burger carryout restaurant just a few storefronts down from The Fireplace, around 7:30 p.m. on August 18.
The victim later told police he felt a heavy punch in the back of his neck. He turned around, noticing a woman walking away from him and towards another patron seated at a bus stop on P Street, located outside The Fireplace’s front window. The woman then stabbed the second victim in the neck with scissors before fleeing.
The second victim began bleeding profusely from his neck, yet managed to flag down a nearby emergency medical vehicle for help. According to an arrest affidavit, that victim was transported to the hospital and treated for his injuries.
The woman was later stopped by a U.S. Secret Service uniformed officer, who detained her “at taser point” and later handed over the woman, identified as Mary Kennedy, to responding officers so they could place her under arrest.
A witness who observed the attacks told police that she saw Kennedy approach the first victim, unprovoked, with a silver object with a black handle, grazing the back of the man’s neck.
She then saw Kennedy, unprovoked, approach the man at the bus stop and stab him in the front of his neck area. The witness told police that Kennedy never exchanged words with either man.
The first victim also identified Kennedy as the woman who had hit him and stabbed the second victim.
Police later interviewed the second victim, who reported that he had been smoking a cigarette at the bus stop when Kennedy approached him and slapped him in the neck before fleeing. He then realized he had been stabbed.
During their initial assessment of the incident, police searched Kennedy’s purse, which was in her possession, and discovered a pair of scissors with blood on it.
Despite their proximity to The Fireplace, neither stabbing was flagged as a potential anti-gay hate crime by responding officers, with prosecutors treating them as random acts of violence.
Kennedy has since been charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
After appearing at a preliminary hearing, D.C. Superior Court Judge Tanya Jones Bosier ordered Kennedy to submit to a mental competency exam to determine whether she was mentally fit enough to understand the charges against her.
Kennedy was subsequently determined to be competent to stand trial after that examination on August 31. She is next scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing — along with a newly-appointed lawyer — on Thursday, Sept. 7.
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