Homeless man arrested in stabbing of four people in Manhattan

Thursday, June 15, 2006

NEW YORK -- A homeless man was arrested Wednesday in the stabbing of four people, including three tourists, who were attacked in a 12-hour span in Manhattan.

Police said they were questioning the 21-year-old man but did not have a motive.

Two of the four victims were stabbed near a Times Square hotel, and the others were attacked inside the subway system. Two were from Canada and one was from Texas. All four were hospitalized, but police said they were expected to survive.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said investigators recovered the knife used in the attacks when they arrested the suspect, who has not been formally charged.

Despite the attacks, some tourists said New York still feels safe.

"There are a lot of police around. I don't think these stabbings are just random acts," said Scott McCoig, 24, of Detroit.

McCoig said he will still use the subway. "It's the best way to travel," he said.

Police said two Canadian women were each stabbed in the back about 4 a.m. by a man who had engaged them in a short conversation near the W Hotel.

An hour earlier, a 30-year-old man was stabbed twice in the stomach a few blocks away as he and a friend waited on a subway platform in Rockefeller Center. Police said the attacker was after a cell phone.

On Tuesday afternoon, Christopher McCarthy of Houston was knifed by a man sitting across from him in a subway car on Manhattan's Upper West Side, an attack police said was random and apparently unprovoked.

The attacks drew comparisons with the 1990 killing of a 22-year-old tourist from Utah who was stabbed in a subway station while defending his mother during a robbery. Seven youths were convicted in the murder; all were sentenced to maximum terms of 25 years to life in prison.

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