Stabbing spree suspect: I was set up

February 13, 2011 8:28:55 PM PST
The man accused of a deadly stabbing and carjacking spree in Brooklyn has now been charged.

Maksim Gelman, 23, was arrested on Saturday in connection with the stabbing deaths of three people, stabbing several others, carjackings and hitting a pedestrian with a car. That pedestrian also died.

Gelman was charged on Sunday with 4 counts of murder, 1 count of attempted murder, 1 count of assault, 2 counts of robbery and 2 counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

As Gelman was led out of the 61st precinct on Sunday, where police went to extreme security measures as they transferred him, he looked worn out but was feisty.

Gelman told Eyewitness News, "This is B.S."

When asked if he committed the four murders he's now charged with, Gelman said, "This is a set up."

Gelman was apprehended at about 8:45 a.m. Saturday on a Northbound No. 3 train at 40th street in Times Square, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Kelly says Gelman was arrested moments after he stabbed another man on that subway train. The victim is a 40-year-old man who is in stable condition at St. Luke's Hospital.

The arrest came after a series of witnesses spotted Gelman. An anonymous 911 caller reported seeing a man fitting Gelman's description on a Southbound No. 1 train between 137th Street and 96th Street on Saturday morning.

A second person got off the train at 96th Street and told police that a man who looked like Gelman knocked a newspaper out of her hand and then said, "Do you believe what they're writing about me?" said Kelly.

Minutes later NYPD officers Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor spotted Gelman in the front car of a No. 3 train. The officers were in the front compartment of the train with the motorman as he drove the train slowly through the tunnel.

The officers were told Gelman might be on the tracks, according to Kelly. Kelly says that's when Gelman began pounding on the compartment door claiming he was police.

Officers opened the door to find Gelman armed with a large and bloody kitchen knife. Kelly says Gelamn stabbed a passenger in the neck with the knife.

Officers Howell jumped on Gelman, knocking him to the ground and the knife out of his hand. Officer Taylor recovered the knife as evidence.

Kelly said Gelman did have previous run-ins with the law.

He has been arrested ten previous times.

Most of those arrests were for graffiti but police took him into custody on robbery and drug charges.

The commissioner said Gelman's most recent arrest was January 26th for crack cocaine.

The manhunt began early Friday morning when police say Gelman attacked his step-father. Aleksandr Kuznetsov, 54, was found stabbed numerous times inside the East 27th Street condo just after 5 a.m. Friday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gelman drove away from the house after the stabbing, police said.

Investigators said Gelman went to his girlfriend's home in Brooklyn, where he stabbed her and her mother to death.

They have been identified as 20-year-old Yelena Bulchenko and 56-year-old Anna Bulchenko.

Police said Gelman escaped in a Lexus he had stolen earlier that day.

He drove a few blocks north before carjacking and stabbing the driver of the Pontiac on East 24th Street.

While fleeing in that vehicle, police said Gelman struck an 80-year-old man at Avenue R and Ocean.

Officials said the 60-year-old driver of the carjacked vehicle was listed in stable condition, while the man struck by the car died later at the hospital.

Police thought they were close to Gelman after he abandoned a carjacked 1995 Pontiac Bonneville on Friday night. The car was found abandoned and running shortly after 9:15 p.m. on East 15th Street in Midwood, Brooklyn.

Police searched the area for Gelman, but he got away and then carjacked another victim around 4:45 a.m. on Saturday.

Investigators said Gelman used a machete to carjack a Nissan Maxima on Rockaway Avenue in Brownsville.

Hours later, authorities received a tip that Gelman was on a crowded subway train between 34th and 42nd streets in Manhattan.

Charges against Gelman are pending.