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Woman charged in NPR intern attack

Prosecutors charged a Southeast Washington woman Thursday with two counts of assault, including assault with intent to kill and aggravated assault while armed, in Wednesday's stabbing of an NPR intern in Chinatown.

Prosecutors said Melodie A. Brevard, 24, has a history of mental illness, including bipolar disorder, and had stopped taking her medication a month ago. She is accused of stabbing the intern four times at Seventh and I streets NW, they said. Annie Ropeik is being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Prosecutors described the attack as "totally unprovoked" and said the women did not know each other. The attack occurred about 9:30 a.m., and court documents identified three people who witnessed it. Two of them had tackled Brevard and held her until police arrived.

At Brevard's initial hearing in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday, a judge ordered her held at the D.C. jail until her trial. Brevard's attorney requested medical supervision for his client.

-- Keith L. Alexander

By Chris Stanford  |  August 6, 2010; 7:03 AM ET
Categories:  District of Columbia , Keith L. Alexander  
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Comments

Can I get a few pictures of the people involved? I walk past that TD bank almost everyday and want to know if "Brevard" is the same woman I think she is.

Posted by: igotstripes | August 6, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Really sad. I called this yesterday, and was told i was jumping to conclusions.

Hopefully the intern will make a full recovery physically and mentally, I can't imagine what being violently attacked at random does to you.

I also hope the mentally ill young woman gets the help she needs even if that means placing her in an institution where she is no longer a danger to others or herself.

Posted by: Redial1 | August 6, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

There's a reason we used to have aslyums in this country- to protect society from those with mental illness who are violent and to protect these mentally ill folks from living in a world they can't handle. Some psychiatric patients need the safety and structure of a 24 hour staffed setting, and not all psychiatric can be treated effectively in the community. We have caved into letting the lawyers , judges and magistrates make medial decisions about what type and level of care is appropriate and this is the price we all have to pay. Hope the intern fully recovers soon.

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 6, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Some information about the two witnesses who subdued the assailant would be appreciated. Those folks are heroes for tackling a woman with a knife who just stabbed someone four times. They deserve some recognition from the city.

Posted by: MarkT27 | August 6, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a doctor, but after reading some of her comments on her Facebook page I knew she wasn't playing with a full deck and was a time bomb waiting to explode. I hope she does gets some help that she surely needs. I also hope the intern makes a full recovery.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | August 6, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

This is a tragedy. I too suffer from Bipolar Disorder. I would never harm anyone, only myself. I hope this doesn't reflect on ALL Bipolar people, because the bulk of us are good, compassionate, passionate, fun-loving people. We have to help each other (other BP sufferers, because non-BP just don't get it) We just get a little manic from time to time. Bipolar is a brutal disease. You get too manic, you lose your job. No job, can't afford meds. It scks.

Posted by: Chris6154 | August 6, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@igotstripes- Someone said this woman was a featured "Beauty of the Week" in Jet magazine. If you Google her name and Jet, you'll find a picture. I don't know if it's the same Melodie Brevard, though.

Posted by: WickedRose | August 6, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

This is sad, and I want to know what took this girl from Jet magazine Beauty of the Week to something as awful as this. I saw the camera phone pictures on Fox 5 Wednesday night of her being subdued by the two men by an onlooker, and that is the same person @igotstripes and @WickedRose. Sad.

Posted by: lulu202 | August 6, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Bipolar disorder has nothing to do with violence. I agree with the previous poster: Post writers should not perpetuate stereotypes about mental illness. People who struggle with mental illness are no more violent than anyone else.
The assailant was just a violent person--period.

Posted by: DCResident10 | August 6, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Bipolar disorder has nothing to do with violence. I agree with the previous poster: Post writers should not perpetuate stereotypes about mental illness. People who struggle with mental illness are no more violent than anyone else.
The assailant was just a violent person--period.

Posted by: DCResident10 | August 6, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@igotstripes- Someone said this woman was a featured "Beauty of the Week" in Jet magazine. If you Google her name and Jet, you'll find a picture. I don't know if it's the same Melodie Brevard, though.

-------------------------
Yeah I saw the picture yesterday and it is her I guess before the illness.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | August 6, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow! This is tragic ALL around. Of course, I feel for the victim, b/ the assailant as well. Why take yourself off meds, if taking them for a reason!? Bi-polar doesn't just go away. I certainly hope the NPR intern will be okay... & the assailant gets help, b/c she SURE IS getting jail time. Word.

Posted by: The_Funknician | August 6, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@ publicEnemy1 There is no before the illness...She has bipolar disorder period and was off her meds. It is a very cunning disease and unfortunately with out your meds you are a danger to yourself first and sometimes others... in this case unfortunately it was someone else who was hurt. I'm not sure i agree that she needs jail time but i do know she needs her medicine and help! ..this disease is no joke! Exhibit A .. is the intern up in the hospital. I pray for both of them... i really do.... i'm very thankful that young woman survived the attack and that there were people there to intervene... but i also hope that Melodie gets the help she desperately needs... no matter how long it may take.

Posted by: ReflectionofLyfe | August 6, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Please read ALL of the comments before you post. It will make for a better community.
@bipo2409

Posted by: Chris6154 | August 6, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Link between killing and mental illness was unfair

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/09/AR2010070904995.html

Right, so unfair!

Posted by: starbucks1 | August 6, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

@starbucks1 Thank you, the article is very good.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by: Chris6154 | August 7, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Fairfax County Police should take a lok ar her in the case they have o young woman who was knifed to death on Sunday. There is a metrp stop near the scene

Posted by: stephenhoffman2000 | August 8, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

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