Schizophrenic Man Stabs Mother in Kips Bay Apartment

By Julie Shapiro and Joe Parziale  on September 13, 2012 4:04pm  | Updated on September 13, 2012 6:51pm

A woman was stabbed at 163 E. 33rd St. Sept. 12, 2012.
A woman was stabbed at 163 E. 33rd St. Sept. 12, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Joseph Parziale

KIPS BAY — A schizophrenic man who hears voices stabbed his mother in their Kips Bay apartment Wednesday night, leaving her seriously hurt, officials and the boy's father said.

Joonsun Sonneborn, 27, is accused of knifing his 65-year-old mother in the neck and arm about 9:50 p.m. Wednesday in the family's apartment at 163 E. 33rd St., the NYPD and FDNY said.

The victim was transported to Bellevue Hospital Center in serious but stable condition, the FDNY said.

Sonneborn was arrested and charged with assault, the NYPD said. He was slated to be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court Thursday night. The stabbing was first reported by the Daily News.

John Sonneborn, 82, Joonsun's father and the victim's husband, said his son was diagnosed with schizophrenia nine years ago, and that while his condition is severe and he hallucinates voices, violent outbursts are rare.

"He hasn't done anything violent for four or five years," John Sonneborn said. "He'll get angry and curse people out, but that's really the most he'll do."

John Sonneborn said Joonsun had a contentious relationship with his mother, a vegan who loves hiking.

"She's always trying to help him," John Sonneborn said. "But I think she gets scared sometimes and doesn't know what to do, because he curses her out. But she just goes on and tries the next time."

Sonneborn said his son attended the elite Stuyvesant High School but dropped out when he became depressed and later got his diploma from City-As-School. He then enrolled at Hunter College but left after a semester.

The superintendent of the family's Kips Bay building described the victim as a sweet, gentle woman — and her son as a loose cannon.

"He used to walk around talking to himself and giggling," said the super, who did not give his name. "You could tell he was carrying on entire conversations with himself in his head."

The super added that tenants in the building had reported hearing heated arguments between the mother and son in the past.

John Sonneborn said he's worried about his son's future.

"We're not sure what made him snap," Sonneborn said. "We're still trying to figure that out."

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