Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Stabbing spree suspect’s eerie taunt at victim revealed

Unprovoked and unmotivated stabbing attacks in New York involved at least five victims

Amelia Neath
Thursday 18 January 2024 21:03 GMT
Queens stabbing spree: Suspect charged

A man who has been arrested on suspicion of unprovoked stabbing attacks in New York gave an eerie grin at his first victim after knifing him in the back.

The victim, a 61-year-old grandfather, told The New York Post that he felt he was punched by a stranger until he felt the blood “dripping down his pants.”

The man was allegedly attacked by Jermain Rigueur, 27, who has now been arrested on charges of attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

“I felt the weight, but I thought he had punched me hard in my back,” the victim, who did not want to be identified, told the outlet, adding that he was on the way to the laundromat on 8 January when he was attacked.

“After he stabbed me, he passed, turned to look at me and smiled.”

The man was reportedly the first of around five victims in Queens who were attacked during the stabbing spree over nine days,

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell told a news conference on Wednesday that before the suspect’s arrest, he was “randomly stabbing people with a hunting knife” and police believed there was no connection between the victims and the suspect.

All of the victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

“It didn’t appear as though he was looking to stop anytime soon,” Mayor Eric Adams said about the attacker on Thursday.

The suspect has been detained by NYPD (NYPD)

The most recent attack happened on Wednesday when the suspect and a 36-year-old victim got into a verbal dispute over a seat on a bus, said NYPD Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny.

A 74-year-old man and a 41-year-old man were also stabbed while they were both walking, police said.

Surveillance footage also captured the suspect “talking to himself” and “stabbing the front window of a bodega,” Mr Kenny said.

A fifth victim, a 34-year-old woman was also stabbed in the torso while walking back home on Tuesday after a man came up behind her.

Mr Rigueur has no prior arrests and passed a background check for his workplace, Woodhull Hospital.

A hospital official told reporters that the suspect started to work at the hospital in mid-November as a greeter but has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

Police said that there was no indication of him having mental difficulties.

The police were able to detain Mr Rigueur after interviewing and interacting with more than a thousand members of the public.

One person was able to give police video that helped them track the suspect back to his house, setting up surveillance and arresting him when he returned home.

He was wearing the same clothing, sneakers and carrying a backpack, also wearing the same distinctive lanyard seen in other surveillance.

Police said it is still unclear what motivated the suspect to perform these attacks, with Police Commissioner Caban describing it as “random, unmotivated violence”

The officials do not believe he was targeting a specific group of people in the stabbing spree.

Charges against the suspect could change as the investigation continues, and police are investigating if he was involved in another stabbing incident in a Brooklyn subway on Wednesday.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in