New York serial stabber seen wearing ‘Innocence Project’ shirt before killing homeless person, police say

A serial stabber roaming Manhattan and attacking sleeping homeless people—and killing one—was caught on video wearing an “Innocence Project” shirt.

A video shows the suspect riding a Citi Bike, which had been lying next to a 34-year-old man as he slept in the West Village, around the block on July 5, police said Tuesday. The suspect returned and stabbed the man, police said.

The homeless man found a passer-by to call 911. but died from his wounds at Bellevue Hospital, said NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig.

The “Innocence Project” seeks to clear wrongly convicted people. It works to “restore freedom for the innocent, transform the systems responsible for their unjust incarceration, and advance the innocence movement,” according to its website.

Detectives don’t believe the suspect is associated with the organization, but are investigating, police sources told the New York Post.

“Video of that incident is not on camera, but we observe a male black approximately 30 years old in a black hooded sweatshirt with ‘Innocence Project’ written across it, black pants and a gray backpack with bright neon sneakers,” Essig said at a press conference at One Police Plaza on the stabbings.

“He picks up that victim’s Citi Bike. He rides it around the block, returns and we believe he stabs our victim.”

The next stabbing happened around 10 p.m. on July 8 in the Diamond District, police said. A video shows the suspect sitting on a bench for 30 minutes while the victim slept.

“The perpetrator then puts on a COVID mask, walks over and stabs our victim one time and walks off,” Essig said.

The third incident occurred Monday at the Stanley Isaac Playground.

“Our victim here is lying on the ground in the basketball court on his clothes,” Essig said. “He states he felt a puncture in his side. He said he gave chase to the perpetrator but is unable to pursue due to his wounds.”

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the incidents are “senseless acts on defenseless people experiencing homelessness. And somebody knows this person.”

One of the surviving victims told police the attacker used a “large kitchen knife,” officials said.

New York is meanwhile tightening gun restrictions. New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed sweeping gun legislation into law earlier this month, that creates several severe new restrictions on obtaining a gun in the state, including drastically increasing concealed carry regulations and requiring applicants to turn over social media history.

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