UPDATE: Cell phone video released of weekend crowbar attack

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South Bend police are investigating a crowbar attack on South Bend's far west side.

It happened around 5:30 p.m. Saturday along the 4400 block of W. Southview Lane, in the Western Manor Apartments.

Police say two women drove into the parking lot and stopped in front of Leslie Johnson, 21, and Johnson's two-year-old daughter.

The passenger jumped out of the car and reportedly said, "what's up" in an aggressive manner. When Johnson didn't respond, she began punching the young mother in the face and pulling her hair. When Johnson fought back, the driver pulled-out a black tire iron and whacked Johnson in the upper back and head.

"We were already outside, minding our own business, when the car pulled up. People were trying to push the girl with the crowbar away when she came back and hit me with it. I lost consciousness, I was out cold," Johnson said Sunday after she was released from Memorial Hospital.

Police and paramedics were called to the scene where they found Johnson lying limp on the parking lot pavement, bleeding from the head.

"I have a damaged nerve that I probably won't feel anymore. I have staples in my head cause some idiot who I don't even know, wanted to come to my residence and fight for no reason with a crowbar. You used a vicious weapon for what reason," Johnson asked.

Using a strong vehicle description, South Bend police later found the women's Ford Tempo in a parking lot at the nearby La Salle Park Homes.

After a 45 minute stand-off, one woman surrendered to police, while the other was found hiding in an upstairs closet. A black tire iron was also located in a cabinet within the kitchen.

Police arrested Sophia Perkins-Alvarez, 27, who allegedly held the crowbar, and Christal Alvarez, 19, who allegedly punched Johnson, on suspicion of battery. A man in the apartment, who did not take part in the ambush, was also arrested for two outstanding battery warrants.

"I feel great that they caught them because it relieves me knowing they're in jail and not doing what they did to me, to other people. So I'm pleased that South Bend police did that for me. I thank them for that, I really do," Johnson concluded.

However Christal and Sophia's mother, Charlene Perkins, says the attack centered on a common love interest in the same man. She claims that romantic tiff led Johnson and a woman named Angeles Hernandez to torment Christal Alvarez for the last five months.

"Imagine if somebody was constantly bothering you from November until March, constantly calling you names, running you off the road, doing all these bad things to you, and you're trying to ignore it but you can't. Then all of a sudden you feel like you got to put a stop to it, and that's what I think happened here. She did put a stop to it, but she did it the wrong way," Charlene Perkins said.

On Tuesday, Perkins-Alvarez was formally charged with Battery With A Deadly Weapon and Battery, both of which are class C felonies. If convicted to the full extent, Perkins-Alvarez could spend 16 years in state prison. To read her probable cause affidavit, click on the link attached to this story.

And to watch the entire uncensored video of the attack for yourself, click here.


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