Maudell Grayson, owner of Dell'z Deli at 1A Cannon St., is recovering at home after being stabbed nine times in the arm around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, according to police and relatives.
Details are sparse in the police report, but Grayson's daughter, College of Charleston student Smarel Nicole Brown, says Grayson was getting out of her car at her sister's house on Boeing Avenue in West Ashley when someone jumped on her back. The man allegedly said he was going to kill her and then stabbed her in the right arm nine times with what appeared to be a serrated knife, punched her in the face, and then got in a green Saturn sedan and sped off. Brown says he crashed the car into an electrical pole and then left the scene on foot. Grayson's sister was a witness to the stabbing.
The suspect is David Israel Smith, 33, of West Ashley. Brown says Smith is her mother's ex-boyfriend, and she says he used to help out around the deli. He is described as a dark-skinned black male, about 5'8" tall and 140 pounds. Brown posted a picture of Smith on the Dell'z Deli Facebook page in hopes that someone will help catch him. She says he has friends and family in West Ashley and Folly Beach.
Dell'z Deli was closed for business Wednesday while Grayson, a Kansas City native known to her customers simply as Dell, stayed home with family. The tiny wrap shop is popular for its vegetarian options and late-night hours, and it has a strong following among college students. Inside, people have signed their names on the walls and added their photos to Dell's photo album.
Brown says her mother has a cast on her right arm and some injuries on her left hand. The shop is open again today, and Brown says she and her brother will hold down the fort until their mother heals.
"She's doing as well as I would think that somebody could," Brown says. "She's very positive — she's a trooper, you know. But she's in a lot of pain." Meanwhile, supportive phone calls and Facebook messages have come streaming in.
"My mom has been overwhelmed with love and support from family and friends," Brown says.