Two 50th Precinct police officers survived being slashed and stabbed by a man wielding a hidden knife at his North Riverdale apartment on Easter Sunday, police said.
“It was a paring knife and he put it right between his fingers and he put his fist around it, so every punch was a jab with his knife,” said Rosemarie Fair, whose husband, Police Officer William Fair, was stabbed in the neck and face.
Police said officers Fair and Phillip White were called to 6685 Broadway after 24-year-old Bennedy Abreu, described by police as an emotionally disturbed person, locked himself inside the apartment and refused to come out. Mr. Abreu’s mother was waiting outside the apartment and police said she claimed Mr. Abreu was not violent and had no weapons in his possession.
Capt. Kevin Burke, commander of the 50th Precinct, said that when officers knocked on the door Mr. Abreu opened it and lunged at them without warning.
“We’re very fortunate that we did not have to have two cops who were killed. The perpetrator approached them with a knife secreted between his fingers. He didn’t even give them a chance to talk. They thought it was a fist fight at first,” Capt. Burke said.
Mr. Fair suffered lacerations to his face and lip, as well as a puncture wound to his neck, police said. Mr. White was slashed on his wrist.
Police said it took an extra four officers to subdue Mr. Abreu. He faces 11 charges including first-degree assault, aggravated assault of a police officer and weapons possession.
Outside Mr. Abreu’s building, near the Yonkers border, neighbor Mark Thompson said most people on the block are wary of Mr. Abreu.
“Everybody knows he has a history of mental issues,” Mr. Thompson said.
Ms. Fair said on Tuesday that the attack left her whole family shaken. Mr. Fair was taken to Jacobi Medical Center that night and has had to see a battery of specialists since.