James Fayette, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, was stabbed in Manhattan along the Hudson River on Tuesday morning.
Fayette, who was pushing his two-year-old son in a stroller, was one of several victims who were stabbed.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly identified the stabber as Julius Graham, a 43-year-old Texas native who had been living in a Bronx shelter. He used half a pair of scissors in the attack, Kelly said.
According to the Kelly, Graham first approached a 36-year-old jogger and stabbed her in the back. He also attacked a 36-year-old man walking his dog, then a 32-year-old woman running along the bike path in Riverside Park, stabbing her in the neck.
Finally, Graham attacked Fayette, 35.
Graham stabbed Fayette in the chest as Fayette faced the attacker to protect his son who suffered a slash to the arm in the incident, Kelly said.
“Julius had a bad look in his eye,” Fayette told the Daily News from his hospital bed Wednesday morning. “He just wanted to do something bad. He wanted to hurt.”
Fayette ran away from Graham but Graham caught up with him. Graham stabbed Fayette in the chest and slashed Fayette’s son, Luke.
Fayette said he tried to escape but to no avail.
“There was no getting away,” he recounted. “It wasn’t frantic or quick movements. He just kind of stalked.”
Witnesses heard screaming and a child crying at about 8 a.m. in Riverside Park near West 65th Street, an elegantly landscaped stretch of greenery flanked by luxury residential high-rises.
Thomas Ciriacks was walking his dog, heard screams, and rushed over. He tackled Graham and pinned him on the ground.
“He was lurching about like a zombie,” Ciriacks said. “His eyes were crazy.”
“I’m no hero,” he said. “The real hero is the guy with the kid.”
Fayette said that Ciriacks helped out a lot with the harrowing situation.
“Thank God it wasn’t worse,” he said. “It could have easily been a lot worse. [Graham] could have killed my son.”
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters that none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Fayette is currently a dance executive in the New York area for the American Guild, according to his Facebook page.
He is still in the intensive care unit at Roosevelt Hospital.
Graham was taken to Bellevue Hospital for evaluation.
Fayette told the New York Times that while the situation was bad, it could have been worse.
“I think you have to rely on your worldview,” Fayette said. “I believe we live in a broken world. Bad things happen in New York and all over the world. This bad thing happened. But it could have been so much worse. My son could have been killed.”
“I am going to move forward,” he said. “There is a concern in the back of my head that I might be a little more tentative. But I love this city and the people in it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.