A woman was fatally stabbed in her car trying to give money to a panhandler.
54 year old Jacquelyn Smith, an electrical engineer at Aberdeen Proving Ground, went out to dance with her husband Keith Smith Friday night at the American Legion on Madison Street in Baltimore, and brought Keith’s daughter Shavon to celebrate her 28th birthday.
Hours later, 52 year old Keith Smith was calling 911 and rushing Jacquelyn to the hospital.
Jacquelyn had her necklace and pocketbook snatched by a woman and man who approached her car under the guise of thanking them for giving them money.
After giving them money, the man stabbed her through her rolled down window, and took her pocketbook and necklace.
As the pair ran away, Keith said the woman stopped and turned around, just long enough to say something. Keith said:
“This girl actually said, ‘God bless you’ ”
Mayor Catherine Pugh told members of the City Council at a working lunch Monday that she spoke with Keith Smith. The council paused to acknowledge Jacquelyn Smith’s death in a moment of silent, among others who have also died.
The Mayor said:
“You’ve got people who’ve got warm hearts who want to roll down their windows and give to people. This incident that occurred this past weekend is unconscionable.”
Keith said the woman appeared to be holding a baby, and also held a cardboard sign that said “Please Help me feed my Baby.” He was reluctant to stop so late at night and open the window, but said his wife Jacquelyn “felt moved to give her some money”, and she held her hand out the passenger seat to give them money.
“Something needs to be done, because now you don’t know whether or not you’re going to give and this person’s going to take your life or they’re going to say thank you. There are some desperate people. They don’t need help; they’re trying to hurt you.”
Councilman Robert Stokes, who represents the district where the incident occurred was asked what a new police commissioner might be able to do to stop similar violence in the future said he wasn’t sure because of the limitations placed on police officers by the federal consent decree, saying:
“How do you move people from off the corners? Maybe the ACLU will come in … so we’ve got to be careful how we do that. I think the consent decree has made it very hard. I guess some of the officers feel like they’ve got to be careful how they engage people because they don’t want no lawsuits. They don’t want to get terminated.”
Keith Smith said:
Now you don’t know whether or not you’re going to give and this person’s going to take your life or they’re going to say thank you.