‘I’m feeling good’: Diner slash victim back at work

Bobby Barbot had to get 135 stitches to close the long gash on his cheek.  Photo by Tequila Minsky
Bobby Barbot had to get 135 stitches to close the long gash on his cheek. Photo by Tequila Minsky

BY TEQUILA MINSKY | Two weeks after Bobby Barbot was sliced with a box cutter, he’s back on the job at Silver Spurs, looking amazingly good for the ordeal he’s been through.

It was on a Wednesday evening around 8 p.m., two weeks ago when 16-year-old Dominicio Howington was making the rounds in Silver Spurs, asking for donations and for people to sign a basketball petition.

The waitress that evening sought the help of Barbot, 25, who works as a busboy, to ask the youth to leave. Words were slung back and forth between the two young men, and they moved out onto the sidewalk. Howington took a swing at Barbot and Barbot punched back and connected. At this point, Howington pulled the box cutter from his pocket.

According to Barbot, there was a little more pushing around, with the waitress trying to separate the two. It was only after the waitress saw the blood and told Barbot, and he put his hand to his face, that he realized that he had been slashed.

The ambulance came pretty quickly, and took him to Bellevue’s emergency room, where he received 135 stitches to close the gash, which went all the way through his cheek. Many of the stitches were made on the inside of his mouth.

As Barbot tells it, almost a week later, he got a private message on Facebook from a person using a fictitious name and requesting anonymity. The tipster sent him a photograph, asking: “Is this the person who did it?”
When Barbot affirmed that it was, the tipster sent the alleged slasher’s name, address, phone number and where to find him. Barbot passed this information on to the police.

Howington was picked up by cops in the Lillian Wald Houses, where he lives on the Lower East Side. Barbot subsequently ID’ed him in a lineup at the West Village’s Sixth Precinct. Although Howington is 16, he’s being held as an adult on $50,000 bail.

“I’m feeling good,” Barbot said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m happy to be out and not just laying around the house. My face is still a little tight.”

One of the biggest impacts of this ordeal for Barbot is that he had to stop his gym membership due to financial constraints. In addition, he’ll have to postpone his next competition until he’s completely healed. Barbot competes as an amateur in Mixed Martial Arts, which includes boxing, wrestling and jujitsu. His record is four wins and two losses. His next tournament was to be in Buffalo in two months, but he said he won’t be able to compete in that one.

Local activist Sylvia Rackow reported that 52 people contributed to a fund she collected for Barbot, raising a total of $1,325. Most of them, like her, were residents of 505 LaGuardia Place — a handyman from the building also contributed — but others were from Washington Square Village and 88 Bleecker St.

“I think the Scoopy’s Notebook article in The Villager last week really helped to stimulate people to donate,” Rackow said.