‘Person of interest’ taken into custody after Center City stabbing of 2

Lawncrest stabbing
TERRANCE TAZWELL / FILE

A “person of interest” was taken into custody Saturday night after two people, including a baby, were stabbed in seemingly random attacks earlier in the day in Center City, police said.

Authorities did not release further information about the person who was apprehended; however, shortly before the arrest, investigators said they were looking for a 29-year-old woman with a criminal history in New York City.

In the first incident, a 24-year-old woman was walking at around 8 a.m. Saturday on the 1300 block of Chancellor Street when a woman ran up to her and stabbed her in her chest and left hand, according to police. Authorities said she was taken to Jefferson University Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Later, at around 12:45 p.m., a woman rushed up to a couple with a stroller on the 300 block of S. 18th Street, near Rittenhouse Square, and attempted to attack 1-year-old twins, PPD Captain Frank Banford, of the Central Detective Division, told reporters Saturday night.

Only one of the babies was hurt – a boy who suffered wounds to both of his arms, police said. He was later listed in stable condition at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

No words were exchanged between the children’s parents and the female suspect, Banford said, adding that both attacks appeared “completely random.” She was carrying a long blade that resembled “some kind of kitchen knife,” he said.

Banford said the baby’s father chased the woman down the street, and she dropped a black bag. Detectives, he added, used the contents of that bag to identify Takeira Hester as a person of interest.

Authorities in New York issued an arrest warrant a few days ago charging Hester with aggravated assault, he said, though he was unclear about the nature of that incident. She also has previous New York arrests for assault, according to Banford.

The PPD has not said whether Hester was the person taken into custody late Saturday.