Suspect arrested in NYC stabbing spree; charged with attempted murder, police say

A suspect is in custody in connection with a random stabbing spree that occurred in the Queens borough of New York City, police said.

The suspect -- identified as 27-year-old Jermain Rigueur of Queens -- was arrested Wednesday evening for four assaults that occurred over the past two days.

He has been charged with three counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault, one count of attempted assault and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon, according to the New York City Police Department. An investigation is ongoing.

The development came hours after police said they were searching for a suspect in what NYPD Police Commissioner Edward Caban called "senseless, unprovoked attacks."

NYPD Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny said a "distinctive" lanyard seen on the assailant during some of the assaults helped lead detectives to Rigueur. The lanyard contained an ID card that showed he was an employee of Woodhull Hospital, he said.

"Ultimately, it came down to basic detective work -- chasing down leads, knocking on doors," Caban said during a press briefing on Thursday.

Rigueur was arrested outside his residence Wednesday in the Springfield Gardens neighborhood wearing the same clothing, sneakers, backpack and lanyard that were seen during multiple stabbing incidents earlier that day, Kenny said.

The victims in the random attacks were unconnected, and the suspect was captured on surveillance footage moments after one of the attacks wielding a hunting knife, police said. None of the injuries were life-threatening, police said.

Rigueur allegedly told police upon his arrest that the weapon was in his backpack, though Kenny said police are awaiting a warrant to search the bag.

One of the attacks occurred shortly after midnight on Tuesday in Springfield Gardens, police said. A 34-year-old woman was walking home when a man approached her from behind and stabbed her in her right side with a knife, police said. The attacker appeared to be speaking "jibberish" to himself, Kenny said.

The assailant fled on foot and the victim was transported to an area hospital in stable condition, police said.

Three stabbings occurred on Wednesday morning within an hour of each other, for which the suspect faces the attempted murder charges, police said.

Two victims were attacked around 7:30 a.m. in Springfield Gardens, police said. A 74-year-old man escorting his wife to work was stabbed in the back, Kenny said. The assailant ran down the street and then stabbed a 41-year-old man in the abdomen "without saying a word," Kenny said.

About 25 minutes later, a 36-year-old man on his way to work got into an altercation with the suspect over a seat on a bus, Kenny said. When they both exited the bus in Jamaica, the perpetrator stabbed the victim, Kenny said.

Rigueur has been charged with assault in that incident, Kenny said.

Kenny said they also plan to arrest the suspect for a stabbing that occurred on a subway train in Brooklyn Wednesday morning.

A 28-year-old man was riding a northbound J subway train in Williamsburg around 9:20 a.m. when another man walked up to him and stabbed him in the chest in an unprovoked attack, police said.

"We have witnesses stating he was pacing the train car prior. He stood over the victim and as the train doors opened up on Flushing Avenue, he plunged the knife into his victim's chest and simply just walked off the train," Kenny said.

The assailant fit the description of the attacker in the three stabbings in Queens earlier on Wednesday, Kenny said.

The victim was taken to Kings County Hospital Center in stable condition, police said.

The suspect has also been linked to a stabbing that occurred on Jan. 8 around 6:20 p.m. ET, according to Kenny. A 61-year-old man was stabbed in the lower back while walking by himself in Springfield Gardens, Kenny said.

"The suspect actually laughed in the victim's face after he stabbed him," Kenny told reporters.

A good Samaritan called 911 and the victim was transported to an area hospital, Kenny said.

Police have not announced any charges in that incident.

A motive in the stabbings is unclear, with the bus incident the only one that appeared to be provoked, Kenny said.

It is unclear if Rigueur has an attorney.

The suspect has no prior arrest history and had recently moved to Queens from Suffolk County, police said.

He passed a background check and began working at Woodhull Hospital in mid-November as a patient greeter, a hospital official said. He has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest, the official said.

"He will undoubtedly, when found guilty, be removed, but he will never return to Woodhull again," Dr. Mitch Katz, the CEO and president of New York City Health + Hospitals, said during Thursday's press briefing.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the attacks sent "real fears throughout the entire city," and applauded the detectives and New Yorkers who assisted police in apprehending the suspect.

"He attacked six individuals. It didn't appear as though he was looking to stop anytime soon," Adams said. "And thank God we have no one that lost his or her life because of this incident."

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