Queens serial stabbing suspect held without bail after arraignment, judge orders evaluation

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Saturday, January 20, 2024
Suspected Queens serial stabber held without bail after arraignment
N.J. Burkett with the latest.

QUEENS (WABC) -- The man police say went on a stabbing rampage across two boroughs was held without bail at his arraignment in Queens criminal court on Friday.

Police say 27-year-old Jermain Rigueur, of Queens, attacked strangers on or near subway trains and MTA buses in Queens and Brooklyn.

Rigueur stood before the judge, stared straight ahead and didn't flinch. He was charged with multiple counts of assault and attempted murder for what investigators say was a bizarre rampage with a hunting knife that injured up to six people in random attacks over nine days.

But the motive is still unclear 48 hours after his arrest.

"That will come out through the trial, and that will come out in the investigation that comes over the next several months," said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. "Right now, we just allege that it happened. We have video, good video, good evidence to show that these attempted murders were caught. And we look forward to holding him accountable."

Rigueur has no known history of mental illness and no criminal record--until now. Hew as arrested after an intensive manhunt across Queens and Brooklyn that detectives say tracked him directly to his home.

He admitted he had a knife in his backpack. And when shown surveillance images of himself, Rigueur said - "yes that looks like me."

One of the victims-a 74 year-old man-staggered into a local dry cleaners after he was stabbed. Another was stabbed onboard a subway train in Brooklyn.

"We have witnesses stating he was pacing the train car, prior, he stood over the victim and as the train doors opened up on Flushing Avenue, he plunged a knife into his victim's chest and simply just walked off the train," said Chief Joseph Kenny with the NYPD Detective Bureau.

All of the victims were expected to recover.

Rigueur lived with roommates in Springfield Gardens and worked at Woodhull Hospital where he greeted patients and guests in the hospital's lobby.

His defense attorneys insist the charges won't hold up.

"We intend to zealously and vigorously defend Jermain against these baseless charges and hold the Queens DA's office to its burden of proof, which is beyond a reasonable doubt," said defense attorney Arthur Edwards.

The judge ordered a mental and psychiatric evaluation and placed Rigueur in protective custody and under suicide watch.

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