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Woman, 29, charged with maiming another, 24, apparently over a man

Precious Richardson Coleman of Swampoodle faces 2 counts of attempted murder and is being held on 750G bail. A Nicetown woman lost a leg — and family home.

Workers from the Department of Licenses and Inspections board up the Spence family's Nicetown house on Friday. A fire broke out shortly after Beatrice Spence, 24 (inset), was run down in front of the home, police say, allegedly by a romantic rival.
Workers from the Department of Licenses and Inspections board up the Spence family's Nicetown house on Friday. A fire broke out shortly after Beatrice Spence, 24 (inset), was run down in front of the home, police say, allegedly by a romantic rival.Read more

HER NAME may be Precious, but to the Spence family she's no treasure.

Spence family members say that Precious Richardson Coleman, 29, of Van Pelt Street near Somerset in Swampoodle, pummeled them from behind the wheel of a 2004 white Dodge Durango.

Coleman allegedly plowed into Beatrice "Dee Dee" Spence, 24, and her uncle Damon Watson, 37, while they were outside Spence's Nicetown home Friday.

Then Coleman backed up and peeled away, police said.

It was tragic enough that doctors had to amputate Spence's right leg below the knee.

But there was more.

Spence's mom, Danika Spence, burst from the kitchen to help her injured daughter. She had been cooking fried chicken and macaroni and cheese; oil was sizzling on the stove. In the frenzy, the house on 17th Street near Wingohocking, which had been in the family for 40 years, went up in flames.

Now it's boarded with plywood, along with the house next door, also gutted by the blaze.

About 1:20 a.m. Saturday, police recovered Coleman's Durango in an alley behind Marvine Street near Champlost in Fern Rock. It was heavily damaged on the front passenger side.

Almost 10 hours later, about 11 a.m., police arrested Coleman outside her house and charged her with two counts of attempted murder and related offenses. Her bail was set at $750,000.

All this, apparently, over a man.

Coleman, Spence's relatives say, mistakenly believed that Dee Dee Spence was dating Coleman's boyfriend.

Yesterday they talked about the tragedy at their grandmother's house, next to the boarded home where Dee Dee Spence and Watson had been struck.

"She thought Dee Dee was with him," said Spence's sister Alissa, 14. "She wasn't at all. That was her ex. They weren't seeing each other anymore. She had moved on."

"The feud had been going on for a long time," said Spence's cousin Erica Watson. "Dee Dee got tired of the mess."

But the argument grew heated last week.

At 5 a.m. Friday, Coleman drove to Spence's house - where she lived with her mom; two sisters, Alissa and Ameria; and a niece - and knocked on the door, the Spence family said.

Danika Spence asked who was there, relatives said.

" 'It's Precious. Tell your daughter to stop f---ing blocking me on Instagram!' " Coleman yelled, according to Ameria, 9, who heard the conversation.

"Then she picked up a brick and threw it through the window," Ameria told the Daily News.

Danika Spence filed a police report, Alissa and Ameria said. Danika Spence wasn't available for comment yesterday because she was with her daughter, who was recovering from surgery at Einstein Medical Center.

Coleman called Dee Dee Spence a few hours after she allegedly broke the window and said she was coming over, Erica Watson said.

About 2 p.m., Spence waited for Coleman on the sidewalk. Watson, her uncle, said he stood beside her.

Just before 2:30, Coleman showed up at the end of the block, Watson said.

"Suddenly she drove down, flying down the block," he said.

"She jumped up on the pavement," Watson said. "I turned, and the car threw me. She hit me on the side. I bounced off the car.

"I turned and saw Dee Dee. Her whole leg was flying off. It was hanging off. She was screaming in pain."

Spence was pinned against the porch. Her mother ran out of the kitchen to tend to her and wait for medics to arrive.

Her mother went with her in the ambulance, relatives said.

Erica Watson said she was outside in shock when a waft of smoke took over the block.

"You could smell it everywhere," she said. "I thought to myself, 'Let me check the house.' "

She walked in the front door. "The whole kitchen was in flames," she said.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire without anyone suffering injuries.

"My mom, she's just so hurt. She's devastated," said Alissa, Dee Dee's sister. "She just wants Dee Dee home and safe. It's just such a tragedy. She didn't deserve it.

"My sister says she's trying not to be depressed. She's strong. But this is a lot."

"I'm traumatized," Damon Watson said.

"I thought me and my niece were going to die. She tried to kill us. I want to see her locked up for life."

- Staff writer Regina Medina

contributed to this report.