Woman in Pistol Attack Has Probation Revoked

Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles woman accused of staging a bloody pistol assault on her former psychologist and his family sometimes growled like a dog during therapy sessions, the therapist testified Monday.

Psychologist David P. Fox took the witness stand in Los Angeles Municipal Court shortly before a judge revoked probation that had been granted to the alleged assailant, Kimberly A. Gracyalny, in two earlier misdemeanor trespassing cases.

Gracyalny, 30, was charged with six counts of attempted murder after she opened fire on Fox, 34, his wife and four children on Dec. 20 at their Fairfax-area home. The psychologist was wounded in the right arm; his wife, Deborah, 31, was hit in both legs, and a .38-caliber bullet remains lodged in the left leg of the couple’s 6-year-old daughter.

The city attorney’s office had moved to revoke Gracyalny’s probation in the trespassing cases before the Dec. 20 attack, said Deputy City Atty. Peter H. Shutan, because Gracyalny allegedly made harassing telephone calls to Fox and showed up at his home in violation of the conditions of her probation.


Held Without Bail

Gracyalny is being held without bail on the new charges.

In one incident, Fox testified Monday, an unidentified telephone caller made a dog-like, growling noise similar to a sound he had heard Gracyalny make during therapy sessions five years ago.

“The first (indication that the caller was Gracyalny) was the presence on the phone of a growling sound that has been used by the defendant in the past,” Fox told Judge Marion L. Obera.


“In treatment many years ago,” Fox said, Gracyalny “made reference to using a dog-like growl on various occasions.”

He added that he had “heard the client growl on about four occasions, in late ’82, about five years ago this month.”

None of his other patients have ever growled at him, Fox testified.

At the end of the hearing, Obera revoked probation and ordered Gracyalny to serve the time remaining on the trespassing charges--174 days--in Sybil Brand Institute, the county’s jail for women.


The effect of the action was to cancel a bail review hearing on the attempted murder charges that had been scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Moot Issue

“She’s just been sentenced to jail,” said Gracyalny’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Leon F. Hitch, explaining why the question of bail is, at the moment, moot.

Hitch said his client “seems a little sad.”


“She got beat up pretty badly . . . at the time of her arrest. Her jaws are all wired; there are scabs all over her hands,” he said.

Later, the defense lawyer showed reporters a police report indicating that Gracyalny, after her arrest, was taken to the County-USC Medical Center jail ward for treatment of injuries inflicted by Fox and his wife as they attempted to subdue her after the pistol attack.

A preliminary hearing on the attempted murder charges is scheduled Feb. 2. If found guilty of premeditated attempted murder, Gracyalny could be sentenced to life in prison, said the prosecutor, Deputy Dist. Atty. Sharon Matsumota.