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Attack in Riverside Park: 5 New Yorkers Stabbed by Homeless Man

Image: Attack in Riverside Park: 5 New Yorkers Stabbed by Homeless Man A police officer stops a bicyclist from entering New York's Riverside Park South where earlier five people were stabbed.

By Alexandra Ward   |   Wednesday, 02 Oct 2013 07:00 AM

A man police say is "emotionally disturbed" went on a rampage with a pair of scissors Tuesday, randomly attacking at least five people in New York City's Riverside Park along the Hudson River until a Good Samaritan put a stop to the chaos.

The attacks began around 7:55 a.m. near 65th Street and Riverside Park South, when Julius James Graham, 43, stabbed or slashed two female joggers, a man out for a walk with his dog, and a father and his 2-year-old son all in less than 10 minutes, the New York Times reported.

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Graham, who police say is a Texas native but has been living at a homeless shelter in Harlem, first targeted jogger Deanna Koestell, 36, who was reportedly stabbed in the upper back, according to the New York Daily News.

Next, he went after 35-year-old Ben Loehnen, who "thought he was punched in the stomach by the individual, but he was stabbed," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the media.

Graham then attacked 32-year-old jogger Jessica Lipes, slashing her neck and getting the attention of James Fayette, a 35-year-old former New York City Ballet dancer who was pushing his toddler son Luke in a stroller.

Fayette reportedly shouted, "Leave her alone!" at Graham, who then turned on the father and son. The child suffered a puncture wound to the arm while Fayette was stabbed in the abdomen.

"It was absolute mayhem…This guy was encircling his child, protecting him," one witness told the Daily News of Fayette. "He came to this woman's aid and he had a child to protect… He’s absolutely a hero."

Finally, Thomas Ciriacks, 49, intervened, wrestling Graham to the ground and holding him there until police arrived.

Two of the victims are in critical condition, but all are expected to survive, a hospital spokesperson told the Times.

Graham was charged with five counts of assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and resisting arrest, according to the Daily News.

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Related stories:

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13 Killed by Lone Gunman in Navy Yard Rampage

Police: 4 Stabbed at Downtown Office Building in Ohio, Suspect Shot by Police Officer  

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