WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A woman was arrested Sunday morning after she scalded a woman with hot water in downtown West Palm Beach.
Police responded to 101 South Clematis St. at 9:26 a.m. in reference to a female harassing a worker.
Officers learned that the victim was working at an event downtown on the waterfront and was unloading a truck when she felt an excruciating pain on her back.
When she turned around she saw a woman, later identified as 56-year-old Andrea A. Clarke, with a cup in her hand walking away from her.
At this point, the victim realized her pain was caused by hot liquid being thrown at her back.
The victim said that Clarke never spoke a word to her and the attack was completely unprovoked.
The victim was transported to a local hospital and suffered first and second-degree burns, which will likely cause permanent disfigurement.
After Clarke acknowledged her Miranda Rights, she told officers that she was walking down Clematis Street with a cup of hot water from Starbucks when she saw the victim unloading the truck and threw the hot water on her back.
Clarke could not give a reason as to why she threw the hot water, stating that her head told her to do it, so she did it.
Andrea A. Clarke is charged with one felony count of aggravated battery and was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail.
Clarke is from Kingston, Jamaica and her current address is listed as "at large" on the arrest report.
People who live, work and play in downtown West Palm are weighing in following the incident but tell WPTV they don’t believe the incident will hurt the brand of Clematis Street.
“I think the Clematis Street brand is bigger than one isolated incident,” said Franklin Villarroel, American Craft Aleworks managing partner. “With the beautiful street improvements the city has done and beautification and the way the city has been pouring money into Clematis Street – I think it will definitely continue to bring people from all different demographics down to Clematis.”
Keith A. James, Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach issued this statement:
“Our thoughts are with the victim for whom we wish a full and speedy recovery. While we do not expect this isolated incident to affect business during the season, each and every day, whether during season or not, we are working to create a safe environment for residents, businesses and visitors. In this incident, the West Palm Beach Police Department responded accordingly. The public’s safety is and will remain my administration’s top priority.”