CINCINNATI — It was complete chaos when a woman went into a rage and stabbed three others with a ballpoint pen at a women’s shelter in Mt. Auburn Tuesday morning, residents said.
“Blood from someone getting stabbed and faces and scalps bleeding from braids being pulled … it was, I mean, I’m overwhelmed,” said Kristie Williams.
“She was angry. She was fighting. She was pulling hair. She was stabbing people. It was just chaotic.”
Williams said she didn’t know what was going on when a woman started attacking others at the Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women.
“We all were running in different rooms trying to get away from her,” Williams said.
Misty Camp, 25, was arrested and charged with assault. Another resident, who identified herself as Netta, said Camp was in a violent rage and it was hard for staff and residents to get her under control.
“Having to pull out my survival skills just to help get her off our RA’s - our residential assistants ... She was like as strong as six bulls,” Netta said.
“There was nothing that could stop her - not one woman, not two women, not three, not even the whole floor,” Williams said.
Staff members were finally able to lock Camp in a room. Police said they had to stun her with a Taser in order to subdue her.
Shelter House staff declined to comment, but Williams and another resident said Camp appeared to be going through a mental crisis.
“I’ve never seen nothing like this before a day in my life. But she shouldn’t be here anyway. She should have been in the hospital being told to take her medicine or something,” Williams said.
The website for the shelter describes it as a place for women who are homeless to have access to "basic human needs such as shelter, food, emergency clothing items, basic toiletries and safety."
Netta agreed that the shelter was the wrong place for Combs.
“Unfortunately this is where she was placed, not only for the victims but also for her as well,” Netta said.
Kevin Finn with Strategies To End Homelessness said the incident showed what can happen when nearly a quarter of the homeless population is dealing with mental illness.
“The reality is that the homeless services system sort of becomes the safety net for many other systems, Finn said, “so if people are not served well by corrections or education or mental health services, then that results in people becoming homeless.
“The organizations that provide mental health services locally do everything they can to try and meet the need, but they just simply don’t always have enough resources.
“It is not possible to force people to take medication or seek treatment who don’t want to, but the goal of the shelter is to make sure everyone has a safe place to sleep,” Finn said, “so there is this constant trying to find a balance between providing people with shelters, especially during the winter, and not being able to force people to engage in services they may not want.”
Finn said Shelter House does provide mental health services on site from Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health.
It’s not clear if Camp received any help prior to the attack.
Police said Camp was transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center and treated for minor injuries; victims were treated at the scene.