A man wielding scissors stabbed and slashed a 1-year-old boy, his father and three other people in a series of random attacks in less than 10 minutes along a popular running and biking path on Manhattan's Upper West Side Tuesday morning. Gus Rosendale reports (Published Tuesday, Oct 1, 2013)
A man wielding scissors stabbed and slashed a 1-year-old boy, his father and three other people in a series of random attacks in less than 10 minutes along a popular running and biking path on Manhattan's Upper West Side Tuesday morning.
One of the women, 36, was stabbed in the chest and is in critical condition, law enforcement officials said. A 32-year-old woman was injured in the neck, a 36-year-old man was stabbed in the stomach and the 35-year-old father of the boy was slashed on the chest. The toddler also had a slash wound.
Police have charged a 43-year-old suspect who is described as a homeless man from Texas suffering from psychological problems. He's facing five counts of assault, along with criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.
According to police, a bystander who lives nearby held down the suspect until police arrived.
"He did a good job," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
The suspect allegedly began the bloody assault at about 7:55 a.m. in a swath of parkland called Riverside Park South at 64th Street and continued slashing and stabbing people for three blocks, ending at 61st Street nine minutes later, according to law enforcement officials.
His first victim was a woman he stabbed in the back, his second was a man walking his dog, his third was the woman slashed in the neck, and his final attack was on the man and child, police said.
Vincent Mallard, who was working security at a nearby construction site, said he helped flag down police when he saw a woman in jogging clothes clutching her throat and bleeding, coming toward him.
"She was in pain, she was in agony, she was putting pressure to her neck," Mallard told NBC 4 New York. "I was just trying to make a difference and I just hope everyone is OK."
Yellow crime scene tape cordoned off part of the park, including a stroller, as authorities gathered evidence.
All of the victims are expected to make recoveries.
The 35-year-old father, James Fayette, is a retired dancer with the New York City Ballet, according to family caregivers. He remains in the hospital but his toddler son Luke is back home with his mother and 6-year-old sister.
"He's using his arm, he seems to be doing great," caregiver Christa Whitlow said of Luke.
Conly Basham, another caregiver, said the family was "very thankful for the New York City police and they're very thankful that the baby and dad are alive and healing and resting right now."
Gus Rosendale contributed to this report.
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Published at 9:01 AM PDT on Oct 1, 2013