The initial reports about an afternoon stabbing at the Union Square Greenmarket were just a small picture of what happened: A group of about 50 teenagers gathered, using bricks, knives, belts planks and more and attacked each other. Seventeen year old Taishawn Bellevue was fatally stabbed in the chest. Seventeen year old Glenwood Nobles was stabbed multiple times in the back and Carlos Tejada was hit on the head with a brick. Tejada was released while Nobles is still at the hospital.
A book vendor at the market Derwin Hannah said, "They were all in front of a McDonald's before the melee, before the thing jumped off... You saw hands and fists flying. One girl with a burgundy coat was beating someone with a cane. It went down like 'The Warriors.' Innocent people were locked in against the tables."
Another shopper told the Daily News, "I suddenly saw a bunch of kids. One had a belt with the metal side out. I saw a guy with a piece of wood. He was using it like a bat. It was a wild melee. Then they got closer to me, and I got out the way."
Police aren't sure exactly why the fight occurred but suspect it may have been a fight between students from Washington Irving High School, a few blocks away, and students from Science Skills Center High School in Brooklyn. Bellevue, who attended Science Skills, was a basketball player who attended the Junior Knicks camp. Bellevue's mother believes Taishawn was targeted due to his talent, "This is all, I believe, envy. People just decide to hate on him, and I don't appreciate it, but God knows best." Bellevue's basketball coach Reginald Murray told the News, "He's not a troubled kid. He's a good kid. People always say that, but he's a straight baller." Nobles's father Troy Woodfin said his son didn't know his attackers and added, "It was probably over something stupid." Police are still looking for Bellevue's stabber.
The Post reported that teenagers involved and bystanders were questioned late last night: "One angry mother was seen leaving the station house with her son, slapping him and saying, 'What were you doing in Manhattan?'" Washington Irving HS has had a history of violence; a few years ago, students threw a stool out a window which hit a pregnant woman, causing a staffer to complain to the Post, "This school is known as the dumping ground for bad kids. It's not fair."