Homeless man charged in Upper East Side stabbing

July 19, 2012 3:00:10 AM PDT
Police have charged a suspect with attempted murder and assault in the stabbing of a 25-year-old woman on the Upper East Side.

Sabatha Tirado's colleagues say she's doing incredibly well, recovering from emergency surgery after being stabbed as she walked along 2nd Avenue near 86th Street around 10:30 Tuesday morning.

Police say a man seen running from the scene was taken into custody hours later at a shelter on Ward's Island. Curtis Forteau was arrest shortly after his picture was shown on the news Tuesday evening. Forteau, described as homeless and deranged, was reportedly brought to the 19th Precinct shirtless and with bloodstains on his shoes.

He was questioned throughout the day Wednesday before charges were filed. Forteau denied the crime at his arraignment, shouting that he had never hurt anyone as he was led by police out of the precinct.

Police say Forteau is a schizophrenic with a long arrest record, and that he attacked the 25-year-old Tirado at random. As the daughter of a retired NYPD officer walked to do an errand for her job, police say Forteau threw some kind of liquid in her face, tried to steal her purse and, when she resisted, stabbed her in the abdomen.

Witnesses say as Tirado bled on the sidewalk, the suspect reached for her purse one more time before being scared off by a Good Samaritan.

As bystanders tried to slow Tirado's bleeding with a bandana, Ross Fillos saw the suspect run and gave chase.

"I seen him running, so I ran out of the diner to chase him, to stop him," he said. "And he got away from me on 85th Street when he made a quick left.

Forteau's family says he is dangerous. In the past, they say, he has attacked his mother, a brother and two strangers.

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