Yesterday's stabbing spree in a stretch of Riverside Park South alarmed local residents who frequent the tranquil walking and jogging path—especially the victims. James Fayette, who was stabbed in the chest while protecting his two-year-old son Luke (who was slashed in the arm), told the Daily News, "There was no getting away. It wasn't frantic or quick movements. He just kind of stalked."

Police say that Julius Graham, a 43-year-old homeless man from Texas who has been living in a homeless shelter, attacked five people, ranging in age from two to 36. He started in the park near West 64th Street, allegedly stabbing a female jogger, Deanna Koestel, 36, in the back at 7:50 a.m. Then a 36-year-old man, Ben Loehnen, walking his dog was attacked—the NY Times reports, "At first the man thought he had been punched in the stomach, but saw blood and realized he had been stabbed."

Then Graham attacked another jogger, a 32-year-old woman identified as Jessica Lipps, in the neck. Near West 62nd Street in the park, Graham encountered Fayette. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, "He slashes that man in the chest as the man is attempting to protect his son, and his son is slashed on the arm."

Fayette, who said he had been playing with his son, said, "I assumed he'd be frantic and run away. In the movies, people always run away after they do something like that. But he wasn't frantic. He was just walking around looking for people... There was no getting away. It wasn't frantic or quick movements. He just kind of stalked." He added, "Julius had a bad look in his eye. He just wanted to do something bad. He wanted to hurt."

Thomas Ciriacks, 49, who was in the park, managed to subdue Graham as others, including a sanitation worker, ran to the aid of the injured. According to the Post, he and Fayette "ran to the aid of a screaming woman being attacked by the deranged man." Ciriacks said Fayette "had his kid covered up, and the man was on top of him. He was huddled over his child, protecting his child... That guy is a hero... He came to this woman’s aid, and he had a child to protect. He’s absolutely a hero."

Ciriacks described Graham, "He was lurching about like a zombie. His eyes were crazy." Loehnen's husband Peter Wertheim told the Times, "He told me that he was walking and this man basically ran at him. Ben thought that he had been punched in the stomach. He didn’t realize that he had been stabbed until he looked down and saw a hole in his Patagonia vest." Loehnen underwent surgery, but even still, had a little sympathy; Wertheim relayed, "He almost feels bad for the person who did this. He’s obviously not a well person."

Graham is being held for psychiatric evaluation. He may be in court today. A law enforcement source told the Post, "The guy is a f-king nut. He just took a pair of scissors and started stabbing everyone randomly, including a 2- to 3-year-old child. He was running down the [bike] path, going from person to person, stabbing them with a scissors."

Mental Illness Policy Organization's executive director D. J. Jaffe explained to the Times that people are only admitted to public psychiatric hospital with a court order, "New York went from 600 beds per 100,000 population in the mid-1950s to fewer than 27 today. As a result, Rikers Island is New York’s largest psychiatric institution.” Rikers Island is a city jail."