An Ohio woman with a history of alleged violence against people wearing fur has once again found herself behind bars, this time for allegedly stabbing a woman at a church because she believed she was wearing fur boots.
Meredith Lowell, 35, is now facing charges of attempted murder and felonious assault after Cleveland Heights police said she attacked a babysitter who had been dropping off the children in her care at a Presbyterian church for choir practice, according to Cleveland.com.
Lowell repeatedly stabbed the babysitter—twice in the arm and once in the stomach—because she thought the woman was wearing fur boots, police believe. It’s unclear whether the boots contained real fur or not, according to The Associated Press.
Shortly before the stabbing, witnesses in the church reported hearing a woman screaming. A church employee and parishioner were able to tackle Lowell as she tried to flee the scene and hold her until police arrived to make the arrest.
“They put their safety at risk. They were able to restrain her and hold her down until the police arrived,” Police Chief Annette Mecklenburg said according to WEWS-TV. “They are to be commended for their actions no doubt.”
When police arrived, they found the victim in a pool of blood clutching her left side. A yellow kitchen knife was laying beside Lowell, authorities said..
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The alleged attack Wednesday afternoon was the latest in a series of disturbing incidents involving Lowell and people she believed to be wearing fur.
In 2012, Lowell was indicted in federal court for trying to hire a hitman to kill someone wearing fur. In Facebook posts, Lowell allegedly said she would be willing to pay anywhere from $830 to $850 for the hit.
An undercover FBI agent posed as a hitman and contacted Lowell. She allegedly told the agent she wanted the person to be killed with either a gun or knife at a library and that she wanted to be there in person to see the act carried out, the AP reports.
She also told the agent she wanted to create an animal rights militia.
Lowell was arrested, but multiple evaluations and forensic pathologists decided that she was not competent to stand trial because of a mental disease or defect.
While she was incarcerated, she allegedly passed a note to a guard saying that if she got out of jail she planned to try to hire another hitman to target those wearing fur.
Prosecutors at the time had requested an evaluation of her dangerousness; however, a subsequent forensic evaluation found that she did not pose a threat to herself or others. The charges were later dismissed, with prosecutors requesting the right to re-file them at a later date, WEWS reports.
One year ago, she was arrested again for allegedly trying to stab a woman at a Whole Foods grocery store who was wearing a jacket with a fake fur hood. Lowell allegedly punched the woman and then tried to cut her with a Swiss Army knife, slicing into her jacket but failing to cut the victim, the AP reports.
She was charged with felonious assault in Cuyahoga County. Lowell has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in that case, which remains pending, court records show.
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