Woman charged in stabbings

One more sought in Federal Hill attack

May 24, 2008

A 21-year-old woman was charged yesterday with several counts of attempted murder and assault in connection with a brawl that occurred early Sunday in Federal Hill in which three people were stabbed during an argument over an apparent traffic accident, according to police documents filed in court.

Police said they arrested Ashley Zion of the 1400 block of Cypress St. in Curtis Bay on Thursday night after tracing a cellular phone call made using a BlackBerry stolen from a victim during the attack.

Authorities said they are searching for at least one other person linked to the fight that began at West and Light streets and ended in front of one of the victims' rowhouses on Gittings Street.

A man who stepped out of his house to try to stop the fight was one of the most severely injured victims, police said. He was in critical condition with a stab wound at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

One victim sent an impassioned e-mail to Federal Hill residents seeking help identifying attackers, calling the attack unprovoked and describing the injuries to her and others. "I had actual footprints on my back from where they were kicking me," the e-mail said.

Investigators said this week they were having a difficult time piecing the events together, partly because there were so many victims and because they said most of those involved had been drinking. The fight erupted shortly after bars closed at 2 a.m. and people were headed home.

Members of the group who were attacked told police they saw a dark-colored sedan hit or back into a Maryland Transit Administration bus on Light Street and then saw the car's driver trying to speed away. One person in the group shouted at the driver to stop.

Police charging documents released today say a woman got out of the car, grabbed a woman in the group and struck her several times in the face.

The fight grew in intensity, police said, ending with three people stabbed and several others beaten.

While at Shock Trauma, police said, the victim who later sent the e-mail noticed that her BlackBerry was missing.

"She called her cell phone, and a male answered and stated, 'Yes, I have your phone,' at which point a female started talking ... stating, 'We have your phone, and you can't have it back,' " according to the charging documents.

Southern District Detective William Bailey said that police officials in the department's Technical Assistance Response Unit were able to later trace a separate phone call made from the stolen BlackBerry to a cell phone owned by Zion.

Police said in the court documents that Zion then became a suspect, and she was arrested after one of the victims identified her as one of the attackers.

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