NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect has been arrested and charged in the slashing of a man in the East Village this past weekend, and he has also been accused in another similar incident.
The suspect was identified as Francis Salud, 28. He is originally from Queens, but has been living in Lower Manhattan, police said.
Salud was charged with assault, police said.
Detectives had been investigating an attack on Anthony Smith, 30, on East 6th Street this past Saturday when they identified Salud as a person of interest.
He is already charged with slashing someone behind Bellevue Hospital Center back on Oct. 18, but he was out on bail this past weekend. Police said he slashed the victim on the left side of his body in that incident, and the victim required 73 stitches. The attack came from a dispute over a cigarette, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
“I don’t know if I can give you an exact motive, but I believe that he does have a psychiatric history based on some of the information that were obtained,” said NYPD Chief of Manhattan Detectives William Aubry.
In the Saturday incident, victim Smith was on his way to have lunch with a friend when he said the attacker seemed to come out of nowhere.
“There was no conversation; no anything beforehand. It just happened out of the blue — the damn strangest thing,” Smith told CBS2. “I hope they catch him soon, because he’s a danger.”
Aubry said the attacker yelled profanities at Smith as he ran towards him from across the street, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
The suspect then pushed Smith to the ground and cut him, leaving a long gash from his right ear to his mouth.
“We’re looking at everything, but at this point right now, it looks like it’s a random act,” Aubry said.
The social worker was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he underwent eight hours of plastic surgery to repair nerve damage to his face. His doctors said he may regain the ability to smile by this summer.
The suspect also cut Smith on his back, and his coat might have prevented more serious injuries.
The Saturday attack appeared to be random. Police said the one in October stemmed from a fight over a cigarette.