Suspect in random Chelsea slashing linked to at least 1 other attack

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man who was arrested after a woman was slashed in the face in Chelsea has been linked to at least one other attack, police say.

Kari Bazemore was taken into custody Wednesday, the same day as the attack, after he was spotted near St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown, according to the NYPD. Bazemore, 41, of the Bronx, was charged with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Authorities said Bazemore has been linked to at least one other slashing, a New Year's Day attack in the Bronx. In that incident, he is accused of cutting a woman's face with a razor blade near Bruckner Boulevard. The 28-year-old victim sustained a 3-inch slash on her left cheek that required 150 stitches. Charges against Bazemore are pending.

He is now being investigated in at least two more unsolved attacks. In one incident, also in the Bronx, one woman was cut and another was punched. On Nov. 4 in Midtown, a woman was struck with a bag. New York City Police Department detectives are continuing their investigations.

The victim in Wednesday's attack, 24-year-old Amanda Morris from Brooklyn, said she was walking to work at 5:50 a.m. at West 23rd Street near Seventh Avenue when she was approached by a man. "He was kind of stumbling around," she said. "I could tell that he didn't really have anywhere he was going specifically. He was just kind of out there, waiting for something. I guess waiting for me."

Out of nowhere, Morris said the man slashed her on the left side of her face, then fled.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said while the suspect has no public record of mental illness, his family members are telling detectives that he is ill.

"If you could see his actions prior to both instances, you could see a man clearly in emotional distress," he said. Bazemore has 32 arrests dating back to 1997.

On Dec. 30, Bazemore was arrested for allegedly punching a 32-year-old woman in the face at Sixth Avenue and West 12th Street, causing some bruising to her right cheek and eye. He was charged with misdemeanor assault in that case and released without bail later that day.

In August 2013, he was charged in two forcible touching incidents on consecutive days in the East Village. He also has a February 2014 grand larceny arrest and a weapons possession arrest.

The victim in this week's incident was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she received seven stitches on her face. She has a gash above and below her lip, and she said she had never seen the suspect before and never said a word to him.

Bazemore's clothes had evidence of the slashing, according to the NYPD, so when he was led away from the 13th Precinct Thursday night, on his way to arraignment, he wore a white jumpsuit provided by police. Bazemore was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital.
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