The Washington Post

District woman charged in tiki-torch attack on pregnant woman in Takoma Park

A District woman was charged in connection with an attack in Takoma Park this week in which she forced her way into a residence and attacked a pregnant woman with a tiki-torch.

During the altercation, a man inside the apartment was stabbed with an unknown, sharp object before the woman fled in a taxicab, police said. Katherlan Johnson, 46, knew the victims and “this was not a random act of violence,” Takoma Park police said in a statement.

The female victim, who is seven months pregnant, was treated at the scene. The male victim underwent surgery and is doing well, Takoma Police spokeswoman Cathy Plevy said Friday.

Johnson was being held in the D.C. Jail, pending extradition to Montgomery County. She is charged with first degree burglary, assault second degree, reckless endangerment, and malicious destruction of property less than $1,000, police said.

Takoma authorities say that, on Wednesday, Johnson arrived at the male victim’s home by taxi and knocked loudly on the door. The female victim, who was in the home, didn’t answer.

Katherlan Johnson (Courtesy of Takoma Park Police)

Johnson “walked to the rear of the complex and pushed in the air conditioning unit to the apartment and entered the residence,” police said. “A physical altercation took place between Johnson and the female victim.”

Johnson used a broken tikki-torch to hit the female victim on her stomach, police said. The man, who was in another room, was stabbed when he came in to defend the pregnant woman.

Johnson then “fled the scene in a taxicab southbound on Hudson Avenue toward Sligo Creek Parkway,” according to police.

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Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.

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