Slashing at Silver Spurs by teen panhandler

Police released this surveillance-camera image, which they say shows the suspect in the Silver Spurs slashing.
Police released this surveillance-camera image, which they said shows the suspect in the Silver Spurs slashing.

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Amid the recent wave of violent and frightening random slashing incidents gripping the city, on Wed., Feb. 17, at 8 p.m., a worker at Silver Spurs diner, at 490 LaGuardia Place at W. Houston St., was slashed in the face by a teenage punk that he asked to leave the place.

Police responding to a 911 call of an assault inside the popular neighborhood eatery found the victim, Bobby Barbot, 25, slashed on the left cheek.

EMS medics responded and transported him to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition, where he reportedly received more than 100 stitches to close the gaping gash.

Police said an unknown male came into the diner and began asking patrons for donations. He was asked to leave and complied. But he returned shortly after, slashed the victim and then fled northbound on LaGuardia Place.

News reports said the man had been soliciting donations for a “bogus basketball league” and “bothering customers.”

The suspect was with a group of three others, including this woman.
The Silver Spurs suspect was reportedly with a group of three others, including this woman, according to police.

The victim’s girlfriend, Nicole Fontanez, told CBS News that Barbot “just asked him to please leave. It was just a nice way, and then the guy was like, ‘Oh, whatever,’ and he got rowdy and he said, ‘I’ll be back.’”

She said Barbot — who had not been confrontational to the man — escorted him outside Silver Spurs, which is when he was slashed.

However, a report in the New York Post tells a different story. According to the Post, Barbot is an aspiring Mixed Martial Arts fighter, and he and the suspect traded words and, eventually punches in their first encounter. The teen missed with his punch, but Barbot said, in his turn, he “knocked out” the younger man, sending him to the floor. The teen then left, but warned he would be back.  Ten minutes later he returned and Barbot blocked his path.

“I seen him pull out a boxcutter,” Barbot told the Post. “He was yelling, ‘Say I won’t cut you!’ I told him, ‘You’re a coward for pulling out a knife on at me.’ He just lashed at me with the knife.”

The suspect fled and Barbot reportedly started to chase him, but a concerned passersby, seeing his bloody face, stopped him.

However, George Pirgousis, a manager at the restaurant, told The Villager that although he wasn’t on duty at the time of the incident, he did not hear anything about there having been a physical confrontation prior to the slashing. He said his understanding was that the suspect simply left and then returned and cut Barbot. As for Barbot’s interest in MMA, he said, “He practices on the side to keep in shape.”

Barbot has worked at Silver Spurs for two to three years.

“Eventually, he’ll be back,” Pirgousis assured.

The suspect is described as 15 to 18 years old, with short dark hair. He was last seen wearing a green bubble jacket, black sneakers, gray hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans. He was reportedly also carrying a small gym bag and a purple folder.

Police provided a surveillance-camera image of the suspect and additional photos of a three unknown teens — a male and two females — who were seen in the company of the suspect on the date of the incident.

In addition, just a few blocks east from Silver Spurs, there was another bloody slashing the same afternoon outside Supreme Jeans, the skateboard and clothing store in Soho, on Lafayette St. near Prince St., where a new clothing line had just been released. A 21-year-old man was slashed on his right cheek — possibly for cutting the line, according to CBS News.

This young man was also part of the group that included the alleged slasher, police said.
This young man was also part of the group that included the alleged Silver Spurs slasher, police said.

“The amount of blood that just came out of it was unreal,” a witness said.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.