HAYWARD -- Assault and elder abuse charges were recently filed against a woman accused of attacking a blues musician last month after he dedicated a song to Trayvon Martin, but police say she's nowhere to be found.
Hayward investigators have reached out to Las Vegas officials for help tracking down Dinalynn Andrews-Potter. Police say she jumped onstage and assaulted 73-year-old blues musician Lester Chambers on during the Hayward Russell City Blues Festival on July 13.
Chambers had just dedicated a song to the Florida teen fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, a short time before Zimmerman would be found not guilty of second-degree murder by a Florida jury.
Andrews-Potter is well-known to Las Vegas authorities, officials said, and the two departments have been in touch since her July 13 arrest on suspicion of battery.
Though the woman was cited and released by Hayward police after the alleged attack, the Alameda County District Attorney's office charged her last week with felony assault and elder abuse. When Hayward detectives asked Las Vegas police to serve the felony arrest warrant on Andrews-Potter's last known residence, authorities in Nevada said Wednesday that the woman was no longer living at the address she provided when she was booked in the Bay Area, Hayward police Sgt. Ken Forkus said.
Las Vegas authorities had been in contact with Hayward police since July 11, when they requested assistance with their own case involving Andrews-Potter, Forkus said. She was previously arrested July 8 in Hayward on an outstanding warrant out of Ventura County, and the Las Vegas metro homicide unit wanted Hayward detectives to ask her about a potential crime scene at her Las Vegas apartment.
"They said 'We've got this apartment with blood all over it, and we don't know what happened ... can you question her about it?'" Forkus said.
Las Vegas officers performing a welfare check July 3 on Andrews-Potter discovered heavy smears of blood across two bedroom walls of her apartment, Forkus said. Police determined that she had stabbed herself inside the residence, and Las Vegas downgraded their case to that of an "endangered missing person."
She was cited and released that evening on the outstanding warrant, Forkus said. Two days later, Andrews-Potter was arrested again for the attack on Chambers.
While Las Vegas authorities' case has waned, Hayward officials are still looking to bring to justice the woman accused of what many are calling a hate crime, Forkus said. Though Las Vegas police described Andrews-Potter as a "quasi-transient" and say she never stays in one place for very long, investigators plan to descend on one more residence listed on the woman's jail records,
"We have one more lead in the Barstow area, but after that, we're out of places to check," Forkus said. "She's been bouncing around, and we just have no idea where she is."
While it appears that Andrews-Potter never returned to her Las Vegas apartment after it was discovered bloodied and abandoned, Barstow authorities told Hayward police that residents there reported seeing her after a local newspaper ran a story with her picture, Forkus said.
Chambers is seeking $5 million in damages from Andrews-Potter, claiming the attack has left him physically and mentally shaken and unable to perform.
"It's a nightmare," Chambers said Monday at a news conference announcing a civil rights lawsuit filed by his attorney, John Burris. "When we are onstage, doing what we do, we are in a completely different world. I didn't even see her coming, and then before I could do anything, the attack occurred."
Videos of the event show a woman punching Chambers in the side numerous times before others pulled her off.
Burris said Chambers decided to sue in part to regain income he lost from the cancellation of a potential tour and because an album release was delayed.
But Burris said he also hopes the lawsuit ensures that the attacker is held responsible for what he described as a hate crime.
"This attack was racially motivated; it has all the makings of a hate crime," Burris said. "He was promoting good will; he was attempting to provide comfort."
Staff writer Paul Rosynsky contributed to this report. Contact Erin Ivie at firstname.lastname@example.org.