“She was yelling and screaming,” Knight-Joseph said. “She smacked me in my face. A fight ensued … So I’m trying to back away from the situation. And somehow, my finger ends up in her mouth … And they said, ‘well that’s what you get for taking the parking spot.’”
Knight-Joseph said the tip of her finger was left hanging from the rest of the digit, attached only by a piece of skin. Doctors were able to reattach the severed portion of her finger, but the injury was so severe she says she hasn’t been able to return to work in customer service, where she spends much of the day typing.
Doctors may have to operate on Knight-Joseph if part of her bone does not soon fuse together again. The surgery, she said, may require her finger to be re-broken, a pin placed inside it, and set again with a cast.
The identities of her alleged attackers are still unknown. Knight-Joseph tried to follow them through Cherry Hill Mall while on the phone with 911, but was unable to keep up with them in time for police to apprehend them. Knight-Joseph says police and an ambulance arrived before mall security.
“There was no security to be found,” she said.
According to Tom Ciccone, a former mall security expert, 80 percent of mall security resources are inside a mall, but 80 percent of mall crime happens in the parking lot. Because of this, he says parking lots can become a hotbed for violence.
“Far too many times there isn’t anyone to intervene,” Ciccone told ABC News. “[The mall is] protecting their assets inside, but the real assets are the customers, the employees. The assets when you are in the parking lot are still [the mall’s] responsibility.”
The Cherry Hill Police Department has asked that anyone who can identify Knight-Joseph’s attackers or witnessed the incident call (856)-488-7828.
Bath Township Police describe the man who shot Heben as a young African-American, with two other African-American male passengers. They were driving in a gray sports car with a spoiler on the trunk, dark tinted side and back windows, and black wheel rims. They also ask that anyone who can identify Heben’s attacker or witnessed the incident call (330)-666-3736.