Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ALERT: Homeless Man Stabs 3, Flees to Park

Several reports from early this morning indicate that a homeless man stabbed 2 people near the 4/5/6 subway stop on 125th Street, then another in the back at East 120th Street and Fifth Avenue.  He then fled into Marcus Garvey Park.  All 3 victims were taken to nearby hospitals; one is in critical condition and the other two are listed as stable.  Events occurred around 5:30am and each attack appears to be random.

The corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue is one of the worst on Harlem's main thoroughfare.  I know when I walk past that corner, I see more "characters" than elsewhere and more trash strewn about.  The owner of Famiglia's, the pizza joint that opened on that corner last year had this to say:
Frank Grecco, a 22-year NYPD officer who worked as a detective in East Harlem, now owns a Famiglia pizzeria just steps away. He wasn’t there at the time, but he said the intersection — “the Times Square of East Harlem” — attracted the best and worst of the neighborhood.

From sunrise to midnight, the corner teems with commuters, shoppers and business people, he said. But after that, drug dealers do a brisk business, selling “everything from loose cigarettes to marijuana to pills.”

Many of their customers are addicts getting treatment at nearby methadone clinics, he said. The corner is also populated by people who are emotionally unstable.

The police do a good job of keeping crimes in check, Grecco said. But the strongest police presence is during the day, and a second shift from 4 p.m. to midnight.
Bottom line: be aware of your surroundings, particularly on "known" trouble spots.  And as an aside, what's with suspects running into Marcus Garvey Park?  It's not Sherwood Forest, folks!

UPDATE:  It's probably too vague to be helpful, but the suspect has been described as a black man in his 20s, who was wearing a black Polo shirt and blue jeans.

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