Frantic 911 calls to help infant stabbed in social service's office

O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake commend employees for their efforts to save 8-month-old

(Baltimore Police Department )
May 03, 2012|By Peter Hermann

UPDATED: Listen to one of the 911 calls above

This morning Gov. Martin O'Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake congratulated the two city social services who helped subdue a mother and save her baby during an attack last week. .

The mayor and governor walked into the cafeteria at the city Department of Social Services' office together, taking a roomful of hundreds of workers by surprise. They gave commendations to William Purnell Short III, who threw a chair at Kenisha Thomas and subdued her, and Dana Hayes, the social worker who was seeing Thomas at the time of the attack.

What the social workers did "shows there is no such thing here in Baltimore as a spare American. We need each and every one of you," O'Malley said.

Short, in brief remarks to reporters, said he does not consider himself a hero. "I'm glad I was there. I was just doing my job."


Baltimore police have released the 911 calls from a city Department of Social Services' Office where last week police said a mother stabbed her 8-month-old infant girl five times during a supervised visit.

The calls includes some from staff and one frantic recording from a security guard who told a dispatcher she was too scared to be the room with the mother, who by that time had been disarmed and was being held by social worker who had thrown chairs to disarm her.

State officials have revamped security at the office complex in the 3000 block of East Biddle St., and have called the actions of several social workers heroic. That includes the efforts by William Purnell Short III, a longtime counselor who subdued the suspect.

Kenisha Thomas, 29, is being held at the Baltimore City Detention Center without bail. We're awaiting an update on the condition of the infant, Pretty Diamond, who suffered wounds to her head, neck and chest.

Read a detailed account of the stabbing here.

Here's a partial transcript of the 911 calls:

Caller 1

Caller: Baltimore City DSS, a parent came in and stabbed a baby. ... 3031 East Biddle Street

Dispatcher: Where is the child right now?

Caller: She’s in a conference room. She was having a visit with the mother and she stabbed the baby

Dispatcher: How old is the child?

Caller: The baby is an infant … Can you get here quickly?

Dispatcher: Ma’am, as I’m talking to you, I’m already sending them out there. …. Where is the mother?

Caller: They're holding her down in the conference room.


Caller 2 (security guard — shouting in the background)

Caller: I need Baltimore City at 3031 Biddle … Security, I had a lady that just stabbed a baby. She’s right here. One of the case workers is holding her down. … The baby has a knife in her. Baby is not even one years old ma’am. … It’s a girl — this lady, she’s real dangerous.

Dispatcher: I know. Just calm down. … What part of the body did she stab the baby?

Caller: The neck

Dispatcher: I got an ambulance coming. I’m sending police too … Tell that worker, don't put the knife out. Don't give the baby anything to eat or drink. Watch her very closely.

Caller: (reffering to mother). I don’t want to be in the same room with her.


Caller 3

Caller: I'm at social services. We have a parent stabbing her infant baby. We need police immediately. Please hurry. This baby, she’s not one, she’s an infant. The biological parent is stabbing her with a knife. [She’s heard shouting to someone else in the room) “Somebody go find out if the baby is breathing please. (Back to dispatcher): This lady has a knife.

Dispatcher: Where’s the mother at? Does anybody have her?

Caller: Mr. Short has the mother. A staff got the baby. … The baby is breathing. The baby is crying. She’s bleeding over her eye. The mother is being held by male staff

Dispatcher: What part of the body was she stabbed?

Caller: Looks like the head.

Dispatcher: Is it more than one wound?

Caller: I don’t know. We can’t tell because of the amount of blood.

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