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NPR intern stabbed, person in custody

Matt Zapotosky

Police have charged a 24-year-old Southeast woman with “assault with intent to kill” in connection with what they now say was a “random” attack on an NPR intern on her way to work.

Melodie Brevard, 24, was taken into custody shortly after the attack on the 20-year-old intern at the intersection of 7th and I Streets NW at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said. Lt. Nick Breul, A D.C. police spokesman, said three people restrained Brevard after the incident and waited for officers to arrive. They showed up quickly, he said, because they were already investigating a suspicious package nearby.

Breul had initially said the attack appeared to stem from some type of dispute. He said later Wednesday afternoon that account was based largely on witnesses who confused a woman being attacked with two women fighting.

“They saw two women fighting. What they really weren’t able to discern was it was really a woman being assaulted,” Breul said. “It appears that this woman was assaulted out of the blue.”

Breul said investigators “can’t discern any reason” for the attack.

“We don’t know what precipitated that in the mind of the suspect,” he said.

Breul said investigators had recovered a knife, and they had been able to talk to the victim, whose injuries he described as very serious.

Anna Christopher, an NPR spokeswoman, confirmed the victim was an NPR summer intern on her way to work. The intern, Christopher said, is in stable condition at an area hospital with her family. She said she could not name the intern or provide other details.

“The entire staff is shocked and deeply concerned, and we are maintaining close contact with the family,” she said in a statement.

-- Matt Zapotosky

By Matt Zapotosky  |  August 4, 2010; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Zapotosky , The District  
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Comments

So will this item go in your "Intern City" feature?

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | August 4, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I think the stabber was the recipient of a DYRS award the other night.

Welcome to Washington intern! Now you see why so many stay away! Don't argue with the violent fools in this town, its not worth it as you are finding out...

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | August 4, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Ok NPR interns, just ignore it if a crazed woman runs up to you with a knife and threatens to stab you. She is just acting out her racial anger!

Posted by: numbersch13 | August 4, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Attacker has a facebook.
www.facebook.com/people/Melodie-Brevard/1724244246

Posted by: why1201 | August 4, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse


I dont like NPR either, but that seems a little extreme.

Posted by: nuke41 | August 4, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

crackhead

Posted by: slim4 | August 4, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

There is more to this story than what is being told. I am just going to sit back and watch how all this unfolds.

Posted by: yisthisnews | August 4, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

i followed the link somebody provided. her picture doesn't look like a crackhead and she says she's "in college and glad to be alive..." do they know each other? is a boy involved? just thinking.

Posted by: dcjazzman | August 5, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Awwww. But the stabbers parents will tell us what "good person" the stabber was, and how the victem "forgives" her. This is your next story, right, WAPO? Just like you did for the illegal immigrant who killed the nun? Ooops. PC gets in the way of reality again.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | August 5, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

i walk past this area everyday; there are two large parks on each side of 7th & i which are hangouts for homeless all the way down to Union Station; most are harmless but clearly there is a lot of alcohol mixed with psychosis mixed with panhandling which may have resulted in this...I get yelled at constantly with racial slurs as I walk by and asked for money and was also assaulted a year ago.

Posted by: BillShatner | August 5, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

This girl was obviously nuts. There are lots of mentally unbalanced people around Gallery Place/Chinatown these days.

Posted by: UnknownHenson | August 5, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Hood Rat on the loose from Souf Eese...

Posted by: demtse | August 5, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

The victim and the assailant should appear on Story Corps together:

"Do you remember that day you stabbed me?"

"Yeah. Good times, good times."

Posted by: alc0f7 | August 5, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Good god people, what is wrong with you? A woman was stabbed and is very serious condition, apparently for no reason. And you make jokes and sarcastic remarks? Despicable.

Posted by: awiseman1 | August 5, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

awiseman1:

It is just another way to deal with the awfulness of post-modern life in a world gone mad.

We'll leave the sensitive sentiments and moralizing censure to Good People like you.

That is all.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | August 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The fact that so many have people are shamelessly uninhibited about publishing such crude commentary is more disturbing to me than the attack itself.

Posted by: mmcgrath2 | August 5, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The fact that so many people are so unihibited about publishing such crude commentary, is just as disturbing as the attack itself. Common decency is now ridiculed anonymously as "moralizing censure."

Posted by: mmcgrath2 | August 5, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Actually, that is not all.

First off, thank you for calling us "good god people."

It sure beats "bad devil persons" or "evil Satan spawn."

But the "despicable" wasn't so nice. After all, it wasn't any of *us* wielding that knife and hacking away at that poor defenseless kid.

We are just your fellow sickened spectators at the sidelines of this menagerie of horrors. Some react to such vivid scenarios with admirable propriety and decorum, others recoil and fling gratuitous barbs and absurdities at their little text comment boxes. Live and let live, my friend, live and let live.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | August 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I took a look at the Facebook page and by all accounts she appears to be a normal young woman. But one status posted a few weeks ago read: "One thing about a nervous breakdown, is that they last temporarily,...and when u snap out of it everything u own around u is shattered or ur in a holding cell awaiting ur court date"

Sounds like she may have been battling mental illness.

Posted by: Redial1 | August 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I envy mmcgrath2.

If you think any of the above comments are really "crude," then I think it's safe to say that you have led an incredibly charmed and sheltered life.

"The fact that so many have people are shamelessly uninhibited about publishing such crude commentary is more disturbing to me than the attack itself."--mmcgrath2

Then you must have a very limited imagination when it comes to SAVAGE, BRUTAL, HOMICIDAL VIOLENCE, mmcgrath2.

Now go back to your safe, coddled life of respectability, self-righteousness, and "common decency" before you collapse from shock about a bunch of GLIB COMMENTS ON A PERMISSIVELY MODERATED INTERNET FORUM, for crying out loud!

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | August 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse


All these Laquisha's running wild all over the city. Crazy

Posted by: DannyP1 | August 5, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Please, a little, or a lot of:

Peace, Love, Dove,

is needed here.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | August 5, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Peace, Love, Dove.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | August 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like she may have been battling mental illness.
--Redial1

==========

You mean Melodie Brevard, the attacker, right?

I'm always surprised at what people post publicly on their Facebook "walls," etc. It's electronic exhibitionism, basically.

"Sounds like she may have been battling mental illness."

I've been surrounded by people (relatives, friends) "battling mental illness" their entire lives. NONE of them has gone on a homicidal attack. I'm sick of the phrase being attached to homicidal violent criminals, especially among those who distrust psychiatry/therapy.

This woman's statement implies that she not owning her mental illness(es); she is basically treating these episodes as things she can't control (like fugues or blackouts or something).

The mental health care industry is very permissive about this kind of helpless (and dare I say irresponsible) attitude.

Also, "nervous breakdown" is a convenient catch-all term that can mean a lot of things -- anything from a sudden crying jag to extreme psychosis that requires hospitalization.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | August 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The Facebook page also seems to have a blatant reference to her getting ready to get wasted prior to driving to a club. I'm not perfect, but if you brag about that on Facebook, you could probably use a lot more discretion.

Also, at the risk of sounding politically incorrect, I wonder if her possible bisexual tendencies are a sign of earlier trauma when she was young. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that scenario applies to most bisexuals, but in this case there may be a link.

Posted by: esocci | August 5, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if her possible bisexual tendencies are a sign of earlier trauma when she was young..."
--esocci

I wouldn't have drawn that conclusion but then (a) I attended a liberal arts college where you stood out if you *weren't* bisexual (and these bi kids were well-adjusted suburbanites, btw), and (b) I'm more familiar with the fallout from physical/emotional trauma than from sexual abuse.

I've never heard any evidence that links homosexuality/bisexuality to past trauma and future violence. Have you?

I grew up around violence (and alcoholism). Kids exposed to violence often grow up into violent adults with problems with impulsiveness & disinhibition, poor self control, etc. So I'm biased toward that explanation.

I have known many people who have experienced self-described "nervous breakdowns" but very few who have ended up in jail from them so I find it striking that this woman practically defines a "nervous breakdown" as an episode that leads to jail time.


"... if you brag about that on Facebook, you could probably use a lot more discretion"
--esocci

That's a huge chunk of the "Fb" population that could use more discretion.


I dunno. I think when there aren't a lot of facts to work with, these stories mainly become a Rorschach test that reveals people's feelings and beliefs about violence, mental illness, evil, etc.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | August 5, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

She looks kind of Lauren Hillish, & that's not saying much b/c even Lauren Hill is a little out there. I'm going to wait for further details on this story. An unprovoked attack... for NO reason!? Mmmmmm, not buying it. Even a funny look is motive enough to make a person go off, these days. Not making excuses... I'm just saying.

Posted by: The_Funknician | August 5, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

She looks kind of Lauren Hillish, & that's not saying much b/c even Lauren Hill is a little out there. I'm going to wait for further details on this story. An unprovoked attack... for NO reason!? Mmmmmm, not buying it. Even a funny look is motive enough to make a person go off, these days. Not making excuses... I'm just saying.

Posted by: The_Funknician | August 5, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"An unprovoked attack... for NO reason!? Mmmmmm, not buying it. Even a funny look is motive enough to make a person go off, these days."
--The_Funknician

==========

Let's say you're sitting on a jury for a criminal trial where the defendant savagely attacked a stranger, seemingly "at random." Let's say the defendant claims that the victim had given him/her a "funny look" immediately before the assault began. I hope you wouldn't consider that a valid "provocation."

I think this intern was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, as they say. I seriously doubt that she was acting/looking hostile or otherwise "provoking" the attack.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | August 5, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Perp probably too old to be in the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) but ... what if? Mayor wanted SYEP to last a week longer but extension was denied by Council two days ago. Bloggers jokingly warned of unemployed youths rampaging on the streets due to SYEP cancellation.

Posted by: Rambler3 | August 5, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

A guy involved? Watch this 'unfold'? You people are ridiculous. Annie is a student in BOSTON and lives there for the majority of the year. She definitely did not know this psychopath, and she is FAR from the type of girl to get involved in catty drama. Annie is completely laid back, one of the nicest people I know, and was absolutely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thankfully she is doing okay right now. It is so insulting to see people accuse an innocent girl of provoking this kind of attack. This woman was CLEARLY unstable, and she needs to be put away.

Posted by: emjuly | August 5, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@ FedUpInMoco

You live in Montgomery County and went to a liberal arts college and read The Washington Post regularly and argue about bisexual rhetoric? When exactly did you grow up around city violence, and what makes you qualified to discuss mental illness as a catalyst for violence? Do you have a degree in psychology? Have you studied neurology? PET scan studies? Cognitive processes? I would be willing to bet your answer is a loud, resounding "no." Stop being the token contrarian, you're embarrassing yourself.

Posted by: mariet68 | August 5, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's the truth of the matter: people feel unconstrained by any social mores. The only relevant calculus is the likelihood of escaping punishment in terms of pain/disfiguring injury. The "criminal justice" system is so corrupted that it no longer offers deterrence.

Now throw in this country's sad racial history which seems, among some, to have morphed into justification for physical vengeance against whites. Add a general belief that those that have somehow don't deserve what they have, probably did something wrong to get it, and so should be hurt and/or robbed if they don't surrender it willingly. We've turned sympathy for the poor and disadvantaged into a feeling of nobility BY the poor and disadvantaged BECAUSE they are poor and disadvantaged (and conversely, the rich and privileged MUST be venal).

We're too busy hating others instead of improving ourselves. Hating others will never improve your station in life. And that hate is collectively driving great numbers of the population literally crazy. I fear for the future. I hope the intern fully recovers, and hope the perp gets a really, really long jail sentence, but I know better; this is DC.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 6, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

By the way, she wasn't so crazy that she didn't try to get away, and she wasn't so crazy that she tried to someone who could defend themselves. Probably got a narcissistic disorder, working with bipolar.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 6, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, Americans do not realize that we are entering the Obama Zone. The crazies like Melodie Brevard and Omar Thornton believed that it is "Obama Time," which much like "Dinkins Time" in NYC during the late 1990s, give rationale and conviction to these types of vicious, race-inspired attacks. Yes, these two were fringe characters, but how many of their types are out there?

Posted by: derekcrane | August 7, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

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