The Queens serial stabbing suspect was picked up Wednesday night following a citywide manhunt for attacking at least five victims may be tied to additional assaults, police sources said.
Cops caught the knife-wielding suspect who has been indiscriminately stabbing New Yorkers in Queens and possibly Brooklyn mere hours after police brass said on Jan. 17 that they were stepping up efforts to put him in cuffs.
According to police sources, the unhinged stabber has been identified as 27-year-old Jermain Rigueur of Rochdale Village in Queens. Thus far, 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 Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny, the NYPD was able to catch Rigueur at his home after an extensive video canvas and the help from the public.
“At approximately 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon, a community member allowed detectives access to their video system. Detectives were able to view a male fitting the description provided by several victims and entering and exiting 133-19 160th Street. Surveillance was immediately set up at this location and detectives were able to locate the subject when he returned home,” Chief Kenny said. “The man was wearing the same clothing and sneakers from the stabbing incidents. He was also carrying the same backpack and he was also wearing that distinctive lanyard around his neck.”
Law enforcement officials confirmed that officers recovered the hunting knife apparently used in the attacks in Rigueur’s possession at the time of his arrest. They also allegedly found him wearing a lanyard that was seen around his neck in the surveillance video.
This lanyard, Chief Kenny said, held identification cards connecting Rigueur as an employee of Brooklyn’s Woodhull hospital where he apparently worked as greeter.
Police Commissioner Edward Caban thanked his officers for what he called an extensive search and attributed the success of the apprehension to boots on the ground work.
“We were all working this case, and on top of that, more than 8 million New Yorkers were acting as our eyes and ears,” Commissioner Caban said. “Ultimately, it came down to basic detective work.”
The apprehension came mere hours after Police Commissioner Edward Caban told reporters that the department currently had a citywide manhunt in effect for Rigueur. As cops combed the Big Apple, searching subway cars, buses, and posted foot patrols to find the unhinged man who was taking knife to flesh, police continued to link him to more attacks.
Earlier in the day police sources confirmed that they had connected the suspect to four attacks in Queens, now NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny says he was also wanted for another attack aboard a bus in Jamaica, Queens Wednesday morning.
According to Chief Kenny, the serial stabber’s final attack targeted a 36-year-old man who was traveling on a bus on Jan. 17 when he apparently got into a dispute with the suspect over a seat. The fight spilled off the bus and into Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue where the victim was stabbed before he fled.
This took place less than 30 minutes after two other stabbings earlier that morning in the same borough. The suspect reportedly stabbed two men near the intersection of Guy R. Brewer Boulevard and 134th Avenue in Springfield Gardens at around 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 17.
The first of the attacks apparently took place on Jan. 8 at the corner of 157th Street and 137th Avenue, about a half-mile away from the site of Wednesday’s attack where the perpetrator stabbed a 61-year-old man in the back.
“He feels an impact to his lower back, as if he has been punched. The victim quickly realizes that he has been stabbed. Luckily a Good Samaritan is there to call 911 and the victim is removed to Jamaica hospital where he’s treated for a puncture wound to his right kidney,” Chief Kenny said. “In this incident the suspect actually laughed in the victim’s face after he stabbed him.”
The second incident took place on Jan. 16 when a 34-year-old woman walking home in the vicinity of 158th Street and 134th Avenue at about 12:08 a.m. was approached from behind.
“A male suddenly ran up behind her and she describes being punched in the back, but she soon realizes that she is stabbed in her right side,” Chief Kenny said.
Soon after this attack, Chief Kenny said the stabber was caught on surveillance video brandishing the weapon.
“Detectives quickly conduct a video canvass where they find video at a commercial establishment minutes after the stabbing, showing the suspect holding a hunting knife stabbing the front window of the bodega wearing the same clothes as described in the other incidents,” Chief Kenny said.
Detectives are also mulling whether the suspect is also involved in a 6th attack that took place on the J train in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Wednesday.