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Woman cut in scuffle near bar; 2 charged

An ongoing feud between groups of women boiled over at a Largo bar, leaving two in jail and another with multiple knife wounds, Pinellas County sheriff's officials said.

Shemica Keese, 22, was arrested Thursday night, accused of slashing Geranda Thomas with a razor knife on her right wrist and under her throat, said sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha. Keese was charged with attempted felony murder.

According to deputies, witnesses said the two were wrestling on the ground in the middle of a multiperson melee that started outside Gus's Place, 1263 Baskins Crossing Road, after 8 p.m. Thursday. A witness saw Thomas emerge from the fight bloody, deputies said.

Thomas was admitted to Largo Medical Center with stab wounds. She was discharged Friday, hospital officials said.

Keese's friend, Katanya Jordan, 28, was charged with aggravated assault for threatening a man trying to stop the brawl with a steak knife she had in her purse, Pasha said.

More than 100 people surrounded the scene of the fight when sheriff's deputies arrived about 8:30 p.m., ending an evening of name-calling, hair-pulling and knife-wielding.

Sheriff's officials provided this account:

Between 6 and 7 p.m., a group of women, including Thomas, loitered outside Gus's Place, and exchanged obscenities with a second group of women, including Keese and Jordan, who drove by repeatedly. The slurs were targeted, Pasha said, as the two groups had an ongoing dispute.

At 8 p.m., Keese and Jordan walked to the bar from a residence on 127th Avenue to confront Thomas and her friends. The exchanges intensified and eventually led to violence when Keese and Jordan's friends arrived.

Sheriff's officials are not sure how many women were involved and are investigating what triggered the feud that led to Thursday's violence.

After Thomas was stabbed, a witness dragged her from the brawl and helped her to a residence, where they called 911. Deputies responded to the scene where Jordan and Keese remained. Both were arrested.

Thomas was found with two cuts on her right wrist and a three-inch cut under her throat. She also needed stitches for an injury to her right thumb.

Jordan was being held in Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $5,000. Keese was being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Keese told deputies that she was trying to stop the fight and did not stab Thomas, Pasha said.