MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Police are searching for a violent man who appeared to target random victims in a slashing spree as he demanded money from strangers.
It started about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday on a northbound 4 train.
The attacker boarded the train at Broadway-Lafayette, walked up to a 35-year-old straphanger and punched him in the face with the exposed blade of a box cutter in his hand, police said. He suffered cuts and a puncture wound to the right side of his face.
The men stayed on the train until it stopped at the Union Square station, at which point the culprit ran away.
As he was fleeing through Union Square, the attacker slapped a 20-year-old woman in the face “causing her physical injury,” police said.
Described as a heavy set black male, the attacker ran up the stairs, out of the subway station and toward the Food Emporium on East 15th Street and Union Square East.
That’s where he encountered a 46-year-old man by an elevator and asked him for $2. When the man refused to give the attacker cash, he slashes the right side of the victim’s face.
He then crossed 14th Street, ran up to a 59-year-old man waiting at the M14 bus stop and asked that person for a dollar. When he refused, the culprit again slashed a stranger who denied him cash, police said.
All four of the man’s victims were taken to a hospital and listed in stable condition, police said.
Investigators released a blurry surveillance photo of the culprit Wednesday asking for the public’s help to find him. He’s described was last seen wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, black vest, blue jeans and red sneakers.