Five people were stabbed in New York City’s Riverside Park on Tuesday after a homeless, “emotionally disturbed” man began attacking passersby with a pair of scissors. A 1-year-old child and his father were among those attacked alongside the Manhattan bike path.
According to the Associated Press, the suspect, 43-year-old Texas native Julius Graham, jumped out at a 36-year-old jogger running alongside the Hudson River around 8 a.m. EDT and stabbed her in the back. From there, Graham went on to attack a 36-year-old man out with his dog, and a 32-year-old woman running down a path, whom he stabbed in the neck. Finally, Graham attacked a 35-year-old man walking his son in a stroller, stabbing the man in the chest and cutting the boy’s arm.
The burst of violence lasted less than 10 minutes before bystander Thomas Ciriacks wrestled the attacker to the ground and police officers arrived to arrest Graham, who was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center soon after.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the Associated Press that Graham, apparently homeless and mentally ill, is a Texas native who had been staying in a Bronx shelter until sometime this week. Police did not identify any of Graham’s victims, though they noted that all are expected to survive the attacks.
According to the New York Times, colleagues identified the stabbed father as James L. Fayette, a former New York City Ballet dancer who now works as a representative for the American Guild of Musical Artists. Fayette is reportedly still in the hospital recovering from serious wounds sustained while protecting his child, but his son Luke was released with only a handful of stitches.
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Another man attacked by Graham has been identified as Ben Loehnen, a senior editor for Simon & Schuster. Loehnen reportedly received surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital soon after the attack and is expected to make a full recovery.
His husband, Peter Wertheim, tells the New York Times that Loehnen was simply out walking his dog when Graham attacked him without provocation.
“He told me that he was walking and this man basically ran at him,” Wertheim said. “Ben thought that he had been punched in the stomach. He didn’t realize that he had been stabbed until he looked down and saw a hole in his Patagonia vest.”
“He almost feels bad for the person who did this,” Wertheim continued. “He’s obviously not a well person.”