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Woman Charged With Hate Crime After Violent Playground Attack

By Kate Shepherd in News on Aug 20, 2015 3:37PM

An Edgewater woman has been charged with a hate crime in connection with an alleged attack that escalated after a playground squabble between children.

Keona Peterson, 20, was also charged for robbery, aggravated battery, participating in a mob action and unlawful vehicular invasion for an incident on Aug. 6 in a playlot outside the Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies at 1478 W. Gregory St., DNAinfo reported.

The unnamed 44-year-old woman was admitted into Swedish Covenant Hospital in serious condition following the attack, DNAinfo reported. She told reporters she was "afraid for her life," following the attack.

It all started when a young boy shoved and punched the woman's daughter and her daughter’s friend. When the woman and the two girls decided the leave the playground, the little boy trailed them. That's when Peterson began shouting at the woman, the woman told DNAinfo in an anonymous interview.

The woman was in her car with the two girls when Peterson allegedly began pounding on the window.

“She was just shouting, ‘Hey you! Hey you white girl! I'll cut you up white girl, this is my territory, my neighborhood, get the f--- outta here! There's thousands of acres for white people, what are you doing coming into my neighborhood?’” the woman told DNAinfo.

Peterson allegedly opened the car door and started punching the woman. When Peterson went back inside an apartment building, the woman took a picture of the building on her phone in order to file a police report. However Peterson and group of women accompanying her came outside again, according to the woman.

"She boxed me in the head, grabbed my hair, took my phone and started beating me with my phone,” the woman told DNAinfo. “Then the others started beating me. I just kept screaming for someone to protect my girls. I was so scared they were going to do something to the girls.”

A man and woman who were walking by the scene intervened by pulling the woman out of the pile and the attackers scattered, according to authorities.

A witness alerted police officers and directed them to the apartment, where they found Peterson, who admitted to being part of the attack, police said.