ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. -- Sabrina Scott still is in awe of the last two violent days in what has traditionally been a peaceful village -- a place she has called home for 44 years
"I have never seen anything like this in Rockville Center," Scott said. "This is an excellent town and for this to happen is a shock to all of us. I grew up here."
On Monday, three teenage boys were sent to the hospital with knife and machete wounds after an altercation with another group of young men along a wooded trail at Hempstead Lake State Park.
Just over 24 hours later, three high schoolers were stabbed at a basketball court a few miles away. Scott and others had similar question on their minds, "Is this connected? Do we have a crazy on our hand? Like we don't know."
The answers to those questions was one of first things out of the mouth of Rockville Center Police Department Commissioner Charles Gennario at an afternoon news conference, "We have determined that these incidents are unrelated."
While State Parks Police continues to investigate Monday's incident, Gennario's detectives in collaboration with the Nassau County Police Department are working the second, "We believe that the perpetrator or the subject, he did not come with the intent of stabbing or slashing anyone."
The Commissioner adding that the assailant did approach one person. The three teenage boys then came over to protect a friend and at that point the subject felt outnumbered, pulled out a knife and the stabbing followed in a matter of seconds, "I wouldn't call it self-defense. We will arrest him. You can't pull out a knife and start slashing people," said Gennario.
What makes it interesting is that the assailant did put on a mask. Scott, who knows the victims, says these are not kids affiliated with a gangster lifestyle, "These were great kids. These were athletes. They weren't gangbangers. They weren't troubled kids."
Gennario confirmed that Monday's incident appears to be the only one that is gang-related.