Woman motorist slashes another - but why?

Posted: July 26, 2010

Aisha Syed left her car running, with her 4-year-old daughter inside, at a Fairmount Park intersection about 7:40 p.m. Saturday to get out and slash the face of the driver in front of her, police said.

The startled 36-year-old victim said she'd been singing in her car at the intersection of Belmont Avenue and Lansdowne Drive, waiting for the light to change, when Syed came out of nowhere.

The victim, an Upper Darby resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Syed cut her with a razor from her ear to her lip through her open window.

"She meant to do it but I don't know why," the victim said. "I've tried to think of every single reason. It's scary because I don't know this lady - maybe it was mistaken identity or maybe she had road rage but she never beeped at me, she never gave me any warning."

The victim said that after the assault she and Syed just looked at one another, neither speaking a word.

Terrified, the victim drove through the light - she doesn't remember if it had turned green at that point - but Syed didn't leave her rage at the intersection, the victim said.

"I looked behind and I realized she was still behind me," the victim said.

She said she drove through red lights, on the wrong side of the road and on lawns, trying to lose Syed, who followed her all the way to the Upper Darby Police Station.

The victim said she pulled up to the police station and began beeping her horn until officers came outside.

It was only when the officers came out that Syed took off down West Chester Pike back into Philadelphia, Southwest Detectives Lt. John Walker said.

Upper Darby cops pursued her until Philly police took over the chase by helicopter, Walker said.

Syed was eventually surrounded by police at 34th Street and Girard Avenue, near the zoo, about an hour after the initial attack, police said.

"She put her head on the steering wheel and refused to open the door," Walker said. "Police had to force open the car and there was a 4-year-old sitting in the front without a child seat."

Walker said that the child was Syed's daughter and she was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The girl was not injured and was placed in the care of relatives, he said.

The victim was shocked to hear that a child had been in the vehicle that chased her down.

"For her to have a child like that and drive like that and put that child's life in danger, I can't imagine," she said. "People don't just do this. Something must have been wrong with this lady."

Syed was charged with aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, fleeing police and possessing instruments of a crime. Police said that she is 35 and on lives on Bonsall Street near Indiana Avenue, in North Philadelphia.

The victim, a single parent, said that her injury did not require stitches but she can't help but think of how bad it could have been.

"This lady could have killed me - literally - and I don't know her," she said. "It was really scary, it was really random.

"This could have happened to somebody else," she said. This could have happened to anybody."

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