Police: York City woman stabbed, robbed stranger over crack-cocaine

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Michelle Brenneman

A York City woman slashed and stabbed a man she didn't know because he told her he didn't have money to buy more crack cocaine for them to smoke, according to police allegations.

Michelle Renee Brenneman, 45, of the 500 block of Madison Avenue, was arraigned Thursday, June 20, on charges of aggravated assault and robbery, both first degree felonies.

She was taken to York County's central booking unit Thursday before being transferred to York County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail, according to court records.

City Detective Travis Sowers filed charges against Brenneman on Wednesday, court records state.

She was arrested shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday in the 200 block of West Market Street after being spotted by Officer Dustin Gehron, according to police.

Charging documents state Brenneman stabbed a 47-year-old man about 4:20 a.m. Saturday, June 15.

Officers were called to the area of East Market and Broad streets for a reported stabbing and found the victim bleeding from wounds to his torso and left hand, documents state.

Looking for drugs: The victim told police he was walking around the city's west end, looking for someone to sell him crack cocaine, police said.

Near the corner of West Market and West streets, he found Brenneman — whom he didn't know — and she told him she could get him $40 worth of crack, according to charging documents.

After they got the crack, they walked to the 600 block of South Pine Street and went to the bottom of an outdoor stairwell, where they smoked the drug, police said.

Afterward, Brenneman asked the man to buy more cocaine and he told her he didn't have any more money, according to police.

But Brenneman had seen the man put money back in his pants pocket after he gave her the initial $40, charging documents state.

"She then swung a pocket knife at him stabbing him in the left side of his torso," documents state. "Victim advised that she kept swinging the knife and trying to reach in his pockets as he tried to wrestle her off of him. He was stabbed several more times throughout the left side of his body."

Grabbed knife: At that point, the man grabbed Brenneman's knife, leaving him with a large cut on his left palm, police said.

The man was able to flee the stairwell. He called his girlfriend and asked her to call an ambulance to the scene for him, which she did, police said.

He told detectives that when he checked his pockets, he realized he was missing cash, documents state.

He described his attacker as being in her late 30s, with red "straggly" hair and strong facial features, police said.

Police said they suspected Brenneman was involved, based on the man's description of his attacker and the location of the attack.

Photo lineup: The man was shown a photo lineup of eight women, and he picked out Brenneman as his attacker, charging documents state.

Detectives checked the stairwell where the man said the stabbing happened and found a glass crack pipe, drops of blood and a bloody baseball cap that belongs to the stabbing victim, police said.

Brenneman's preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 22 before District Judge Ronald Haskell Jr., according to court records.

It is unclear if she has retained an attorney.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.