CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) --The sister of a man who is believed responsible for two separate random slashings over the past eight days is speaking out, saying the family tried in vain to get help for the troubled suspect.
And her comments come as the NYPD announced that 41-year-old Kari Bazemore is now charged in a third assault.
Bazemore has 32 arrests over the years and was taken into custody after 23-year-old Amanda Morris was attacked on a Chelsea street early Wednesday. He was then linked to a similar assault on 28-year-old Nikki Pagliaro in the Port Morris section of the Bronx on New Year's Day. She required 150 stitches to close the cut on her face, while Morris needed seven stitches for gashes above and below her lip.
"I feel like I got hit in the head with a baseball," Morris told Eyewitness News. "I don't know what I did to deserve that. I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Dana Bazemore is the sister of the man police believe committed both assaults, along with many others, and she believes the system failed her family and the victims.
"This could have been prevented," she said. "This could have all been prevented."
Kari Bazemore had recently grown increasingly violent, including a December 30 arrest for assault. But the judge released him.
"Anybody that looked at him could tell that he had a mental issue," Dana Bazemore said. "So if you locked him up on the 30th, why did the judge let him go?"
Dana Bazemore said the family has tried for months to get their brother the care he needed, but that no one would help.
"It was a ping-pong game," she said. "They keep telling us, 'Go to Bellevue,' then Bellevue says go to the NYPD. We called Ward's Island. These are places where he's been at, so that's why we called them, because we figured they got history of him being there, so it would help. But it didn't, obviously."
She said she knew what her brother was capable of violence, and she tried to prevent it.
"I thank God nobody didn't get killed," she said.
Bazemore was being investigated in at least two more unsolved attacks, and he his now charged with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon in one of them. Police say that just before noon on November 11 in Midtown, Bazemore approached a 43-year-old female who was walking northbound on 5th Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets. It is alleged that without provocation, the suspect struck the victim in the face with a large plastic bag containing an unknown blunt object. The victim sustained injuries to her head and face.
In another incident, also in the Bronx, a woman was cut and another was punched.
Bazemore is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital.