MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A woman is in jail after police say she took a knife to Shelby Farms Park and threatened a park visitor over the weekend.
Just past a crosswalk at Shelby Farms is where police say 52-year-old Melissa Prewitt crossed the line
“I hear her screaming at me and she was saying some other stuff. She kept saying like you terrorist and spewing racial slurs,” said Estiffany Mosby.
Mosby says Prewitt aggressively approached her with a knife as if she would stab her while she was walking her dog on the Greenline near Mullins Station and Farm Road Saturday afternoon.
“I was kind of honestly in a state of shock,” she said. “It was like a kitchen knife you would see in a horror film, silver and like a black edge.”
She says another woman pulled over to help but Prewitt continued to yell racial slurs from a distance.
“It was also kind of crazy to me because it was other people, other white people that were just like going by her, but she wasn’t doing anything,” Mosby said. “But you’re calling us names. It’s 2023 why are you being like this.”
Park visitors like Cathlyn Tsrigiotis and Bria Isom say while the behavior is alarming, it doesn’t surprise them.
“Not surprised because we are in Memphis of course. I’ve been coming to the park ten years at least and I’m out here almost every day. I never feel unsafe,” said Tsrigiotis.
“Somebody like that probably just woke up and snapped and just decide yeah let me go stab somebody,” said Isom. “It sucks because you want to be outside you want to be able to feel safe in a place like this.”
As for Prewitt, police say she possibly suffers from mental illness, which has those like Kayla Trice concerned and calling for more resources.
“I definitely feel like they need to get their security up at the park for people to feel safe and also I feel like we need more mental health counselors on-site at places like this because sometimes people come to the park because they feel depressed,” said Trice.
Regardless, Mosby says she’s pressing charges.
“It was racially charged in my opinion regardless of what mental state she was in like you obviously are a racist Karen,” she said.
Prewitt is charged with aggravated assault. She’s currently being held on a $20,000 bond and is set to appear in court Tuesday.