‘Out of a horror movie’: Officer fires shot, Taser at man wielding two butcher knives in Manhattan


THE BOWERY, Manhattan — A man who police described as emotionally disturbed was placed under psychiatric evaluation Friday after an NYPD officer fired their weapon at him. It happened in Lower Manhattan after the man was allegedly threatening people with knives during the morning rush, at around 8:45 a.m., police said.

The situation ended at one of the busiest intersections in the city — East Houston and Bowery streets. It started a half dozen blocks away, and featured the knife-wielding man weaving in and out of businesses and streets, authorities and witnesses said.

Eyewitnesses said that around 8:30 a.m., the unidentified 25-year-old man approached the outdoor tables at a restaurant at Elizabeth and Kenmare streets — ironically named “The Butcher’s Daughter.”

Cami Camacho works there, and described what happened.

“He like grabbed one of our water bottles, and left, and smashed it, and used [it] like as a weapon.”

She and other staff members were able to lock him out of the restaurant, but the man managed to go to the market next door.

There, Camacho said, the man kept “smashing olive oil bottles. He threatened one of the workers.”

From there, he went to another nearby restaurant, where he swiped the two knives, residents said. Then, he headed down to Elizabeth and Grand streets, where police say they first got the call about him. He was apparently threatening people at the corner with the knives. 

He then went back past The Butcher’s Daughter restaurant, where the first incident began, and kept going north.

On Mott Street, he passed people at Cafetal restaurant, who were having their morning coffee. Kim Kalesti was one of them.  

“There was a guy with a hood, and he had two butcher knives,” she said. “He was holding them like this, and he was walking down the street.”

“There were policemen and women trying to catch him,” she continued.  “He turned the corner, and then we heard a gunshot.”

Kalesti described how the man turned east on Houston Street, from Mott Street.  There, at the intersection of East Houston and The Bowery, officers tried to taser the 25-year-old man, according to sources. It didn’t stop him.  

An officer fired a gun once, but didn’t hit the man. A Taser shot got him to drop the knives, and police apprehended the man.  

“He needed some help, clearly,” said the eyewitness, Monica, about the man’s mental condition. Police also said that he was emotionally disturbed.

While investigators worked the scene, other officers took the man to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric review.  

Residents, meanwhile, breathed a sigh of relief.

“It’s kind of scary…” Kalesti said.  But, she added, chuckling, “I’ve been on Mott Street for almost 40 years. It’s just another day in New York, pretty much.”

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