A man has been arrested for allegedly slashing the throat of a French photographer who was visiting NYC for the first time last week.
The incident happened around 11 a.m. on Friday, after Gabriel Bascou and his girlfriend Manon Duma left a breakfast date at IHOP on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard near West 135th Street. Bascou, 28, told the NY Post he had flown in to surprise his girlfriend, who recently moved to America to work as an au pair for a family in Harlem, for Valentine’s Day.
As they walked toward 132nd Street, a man slashed Bascou in the neck and face with a knife, then fled on foot. (The Post has graphic footage of Bascou immediately after the attack.)
“I didn’t see anything coming, he didn’t steal anything from me,” Bascou wrote in an Instagram story caption. “Just a gratuitous blow of absolute violence.”
Bascou was transported to Harlem Hospital in stable condition, where he was given a tracheotomy and intubated. (He was communicating with the Post via WhatsApp.)
On Monday, suspect Khalief Young, 28, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault in the second degree. The Post adds that Young "has randomly attacked at least two others in the past," including slashing a deli worker in the neck last June also near West 135th Street.
“It’s so awful,” Bascou's mother Marielle Debayne, who flew into the city this week to be with him, told the Post. “Gabriel was here for one day. He walked [less than half a mile] in New York and was cut.” Bascou's friends have started an online fundraiser to help with his hospital costs as well.
After he gets out of the hospital, Bascou added that he plans to visit again and hopefully see more of New York: “I plan to come back there as soon as possible and discover this incredible city."