Suspect In NYC Stabbing Spree: I’m Victim Of Setup

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man accused of going on a bloody 28-hour rampage through New York City appeared court Sunday, a day after he was tackled on a subway train by police.

Maksim Gelman, 23, was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court in the deaths of four people, including his stepfather, a female acquaintance and her mother, and a complete stranger he ran over with a car. With a public defender at his side, Gelman did not say anything in court during the arraignment, and did not enter a plea.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon with details on the arraignment

Gelmen was still being held without bail and will be back in court on Monday.  He has been charged with 4 counts of murder, 1 count of attempted murder, 1 count of assault, 2 counts of robbery and 2 counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Led from the 61st Precinct wearing a white jumpsuit and a scowl before the arraignment, Gelman shouted an expletive at reporters, then said, “it’s a setup, man” as he was being brought to a police vehicle, reports 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.

A massive manhunt ended Saturday morning after police said he randomly stabbed a passenger on a train as it passed beneath Times Square.

The violent spree started just after 5 a.m. Friday, when police say Gelman snapped during an argument over the use of his mother’s Lexus sedan. His stepfather, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, intervened and was stabbed to death at their apartment in Brooklyn. Police found the 54-year-old’s body in his home. His mother was uninjured.

Later that morning, Gelman turned up at the home of a 20-year-old acquaintance, Yelena Bulchenko, and stabbed to death her mother, 56-year-old Anna Bulchenko. When Yelena arrived home at about 4 p.m., she found her mother dead in a pool of blood and called 911. But Gelman was waiting for her there, chased her outside and stabbed her 11 times, authorities said.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

He sped away in his mom’s car to another part of Brooklyn, where he rear-ended a Pontiac, then stabbed the driver when he confronted Gelman about the crash, police said. The driver was slashed three times in the chest but survived and was stable at an area hospital.

Gelman left the man bleeding on the street and drove off in his Pontiac, but smacked into 62-year-old pedestrian Stephen Tanenbaum, who died from his injuries. He abandoned the car later, engine running, in a private driveway, not far from a freight railroad where he was once caught spray-painting graffiti, said police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

gelman house Suspect In NYC Stabbing Spree: Im Victim Of Setup

A police vehicle is parked outside the house in the Brooklyn where Maksim Gelman lived. (AP Photo/David Karp)

Police hunted him, but the fugitive disappeared until just before 1 a.m. Saturday, when police say he confronted and stabbed a livery cab driver in Brooklyn, north of where the other incidents occurred. Shortly afterward, he approached a couple in a Nissan, stabbing the man multiple times in the hand before hijacking the car, police said. Both men survived.

Just after 8 a.m. Saturday, passengers on a southbound No. 1 train in upper Manhattan noticed that a man on the train matched photos of Gelman they had seen in newspapers.

One passenger on the train got off at West 96th Street, approached officers on the platform and told them that a man fitting Gelman’s description knocked a newspaper out of her hand, saying, “Do you believe what they’re writing about me?” according to police

Gelman jumped off the train at the West 34th Street station, crossed the tracks and hopped on a northbound No. 3 train, where he sliced a passenger, the commissioner said.

Officers were in the driver’s compartment of the train looking for him on the tracks, when Gelman made his way up to the driver’s door and pounded on it, “claiming that he was the police,” Kelly said.

One of the officers threw open the door and wrestled Gelman to the ground, knocking the knife from his hand, Kelly said.

The Ukraine-born Gelman and his mother became naturalized U.S. citizens about five years ago, Kelly said. He lived with his family in a predominantly Eastern European section of Brooklyn. Gelman was known to be a troublemaker and has a criminal history, but the arrests were mostly non-violent, for criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal mischief or graffiti, though some of his arrest records were sealed.

Gelman made some incoherent statements to police after his arrest, including “she had to die,” but it’s not clear to whom he was referring, Kelly said.

Gelman remains held without bail. He’s due back in court on Monday, where he’ll be assigned a private lawyer.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


    Does anyone know what his Graffiti name is?

    • Emily


  • Johnny Handsome

    That’s right SIGMUND FRUIT. I mean did any of you actually see him stab anyone? I say we sue EVERYONE for this wrongful persecution of our client. He is a good white boy. His mother was a choir boy. His father sold ladies underwear out of a shopping cart in Harlem. He has been the victim of crazy circus folk all his life. He was molested while still in the womb. It wasn’t his fault. The dog told him to do it. He’s the 3rd Melendez brother.

  • Emily

    This psycho knew exactly what he was doing. Question is, why didn’t he kill his mother if he totally lost it? And what’s up with the police not doing their job?! He had plenty of time to commit murders and “thanks” to the cops, the mother and daughter are dead along with other innocent people! This is such an outrage!!! Deth penalty is such an easy way out for this psycho. The should place his sorry ass on nails and cut each of his fingers and toe finters off verrryy slowly and let him feel the pain. Let him suffer. Cut his balls too, let him feel the pain. He’s not crazy, he planned this. My God, what a waste of space!

  • jtorres

    Someone said the set-up he’s talking about is that he claimed his stepfather was attacking his mother and he intervened to save her and had to stab his stefather to death. Even if that were true (which i don’t believe) that explains the stepfather. How do you explain the bunch of bloodied bodies he left in his wake? How many people were in on this set-up?

    • Johnny Handsome

      Its the Matrix. Those people aren’t really dead. He just woke them up by plunging a knife in their hearts. Its a good thing.

      • Angel

        People like you are a waste of space and you should be dead as well.


    If you be so cruel to take other person life a away, you did have right to do that, sit for rest of you ife in supermax.

    I’m not GOD so i wont judge but in my opinion,
    If a be brutal murder, i think You deserve it

    You deserve it to sit solitary confinement for 23 hours a day at the
    Supermax Federal and’ the rest of your life!

  • Hmm

    WHERE was Regis Philbin when you need him..”GELMAN GET IN HERE!

  • argyle

    He claims he was set up? How? This guy was a one man wrecking machine!



  • a

    But mayor bloomberg told me that guns are what cause people to kill people…….

    • Kris

      Riiiight. Because this fruitloop used a knife, that means that nobody has ever used a gun to kill someone. Great argument there, rambo.

      And just in case you are confused by my sarcasm, here it is again: Even though THIS person used a knife, many people do use guns to kill people. Bloomy is correct.

      And finally, if this guy had a gun instead of a knife, the victims who lived probably wouldn’t have. What else ya got?

    • shush

      hahaha,, u took the thought ^ words right out of my mind.TY

  • frontierjustice

    most good citizens of ny would like to set you up all right loser, with an iv in your arm and a quick trip to the happily never after. you don’t deserve the 3 squares and a cot you’ll get off the dimes of the people of new york. justice for the real victims!

  • Larry Schwarz

    I guess he can say anything.Of course a smart attorney will advise him to seek an insanity defense.I think there is a good chance the judge will send him to bellevue for a psychiatric exam anyway.But to say he is the victim of a set up,CMON.There is a solid case against him,he really desrves the death penalty.I do believe he is entitled to his day in court.We will see how this plays out.If he goes to trial,he will FRY.

  • Joe

    How about some better reporting. Did the passenger on the train die? “Sliced” isn’t the best description.

  • John Ash

    A victum of sleep. Really!!
    Let’s give him eternal sleep to solve that problem.

    Bye bye……………………

  • Keith

    If the “Wendy’s Killer” who executed 5 people in the basement of a Wendy’s in Queens wasn’t executed for his crimes, this clown certainly isn’t. Not sure if the Wendy’s Killer is still on death row in New York State, but I believe he did get the death penalty at the time of his sentencing. Although NYS has the death penalty as sentence option, it is too liberal a state to actually execute someone, and I don’t think anyone has been execute in NYC since 1962.

    • Johnny Handsome

      We need to adopt some Islamic Law. An eye for an eye. No more of this “I was molested as a child – its not my fault.” One must be responsible for ones actions. You did the crime, a like thing must befall you.

  • miker

    Police does not know his motive? He is cold-blooded calculated killer. And he is not crazy.
    All is quite simple.
    5 Am he has argument about using family’s car with his mother. Mother denies him a ride for his own safety. Little do they know he needs to buy a “Fix”. Feeling jitterier by minute he gets more edgy. His step dad joins the argument on mother’s side. Now adrenaline is adding to his anger and necessity to get drugs, he crosses the line and stabs his stepfather in a uncontrollable rage. Stabbing delivers more adrenaline and feeling of vindication. He runs out and gets his fix most likely. As he comes down analyzing what just happened, he understands his life is ruined. He does not have money to get away and he understands he will get life sentence if he gets captured. With this idea he thinks to him self; “What is the difference if I kill one person or 2 or even 5. I will still get life in prison. Now is the time to finish the job and punish the ones who did me wrong”. He methodically executes the murder of mother and daughter who resisted his stocking. The job is done. Like a rat he runs it the subway. I do not believe he even resisted the arrest. The ordeal is over. But I do not believe the book is closed on this investigation. He must have called many people who could have aided in his capture, but they never did. I hope the police will run phone tracers on all of the lines specifically from 24th street location where he spent hours. Where did he spend the night? Who covered up for him? I would also reopened teenage stubbing cases among Russian local community from years ago.
    I hope we can hear more.

    • George Lurye

      I agree with you 100% on all accounts Miker. I think that’s exactly what happened.

    • I'mJustSayin'

      Fascinating and likely scenario. There are sealed cases on this madman’s record, so he may have been convicted for some of the stabbings you refer to…. He probably slept in that apartment, with the dead mother’s corpse, while waiting for the daughter to come home. This is a mean azz who should be shot like a rabid feist – but we’ll have to settle for life with no parole.

  • Harleyguy777

    String him up by his “onions” in the middle of Times Square for all to see, save the taxpayers their hard earne money!

    • CinCin516

      I agree with harleyguy, he’s obviously gulity why do we have to burden ourselves with tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars (prob. more) to feed & shelter this murderous rat, there were eyewitnesses EVERYWHERE to what he did, esp. with the car-jacking victims.

  • Sal

    What I don’t understand is that he killed his Mothers boyfriend at 5 :00 AM, his Mother was there ate the time Didn’t she tell the NYPD that he was obsessed with an ex girlfriend and that he blamed her for ruining his life. Why wasn’t that girl protected 11 hours later when she was killed. Doesn’t make sense.

    • George Lurye

      Ah… well that’s in hindsight. The typical crime would be to get in an argument, stab the guy you’re arguing with and run. Continuing a rampage is too rare a scenario to even think about. Domestic violence is common and it usually plays out quickly with just one or one set of victims. This wasn’t typical, clearly.

  • mind boggled

    He not only killed family and friends but hurt innocent people who were going about their daily life. He should be thrown in jail or executed. He is an inhuman being who will probably claim insanity and be released. Hope he gets what he deserves.

  • DanTe

    I hope the injured victims survive and make a full recovery. What a sad event. Glad this disturbed man is off the streets.

    • DanTe

      While this is a nice commentary. It’s not me. I guess ole nathan has to imitate someone it looks up to. Also, didn’t know that it’s legal for CBS employees to impersonate people on their websites.

  • Johnny Mastorakis

    im sure some moron lawyer will try to say that he was the victim of the system … sad they should just bring him to middle of times square and let the family members of those killed and mamned stone him death.. and done..

    but sadly we will have to give him rights and will be in our court system for years, if not getting off on some insane plee…

  • nathan

    Leave my boyfriend be!

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