Anybody who has spent time in Camden, New Jersey has, without a doubt, immediately wanted to turn around and leave. It ain’t pretty. Located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Camden is one of our country’s most violent cities.
In 2012, Camden had the highest crime rate with 2,566 violent crimes for every 100,000 people. That’s 6.6 times the national average. Crime went down by almost 80% in the beginning of this year, but the city still has a seedy reputation.
On September 2nd, the violence took a more cartoonishly cliche turn when a woman chased her man with a frying pan into a convenience store. 35-year-old Jason Lewis was running from his girlfriend, 33-year-old Maleia Cole, as she chased him with not one, but two frying pans into the Pantry 1 Food Mart.
The fight began as a typical argument between couples at Cole’s home, across the street from the convenience store. It escalated until Lewis decided to leave the house and head towards their local corner store.
But instead of letting him go, of letting the whole thing go, Cole grabbed two frying pans from her kitchen and followed Lewis. She beat him all the way into the store. She hit him on the head, face, shoulders, arms, and back as he tried to get away from her.
But Cole continued to yell at her fleeing boyfriend. Customers and employees witnessed the assault and kept their distance. One employee called the police.
Cole continued to strike Lewis with the frying pans even after he fell to the ground. Then, she fled the store, leaving her frying pans behind with another customer. Lewis lie on the ground, conscious, but bleeding from the head and face. He was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, where he spent five days until he was released.
But only a few days later on September 12, Lewis checked himself into Cooper University Hospital, complaining of severe head pain and dizziness. He underwent “immediate emergency brain surgery” but later succumbed to his injuries and died on September 26.
Cole was arrested and charged the following Monday for the murder of her boyfriend. She is being held at Camden County Correctional Facility awaiting a detention hearing.