Accused Riverside Park Slasher Told Police He had a 'Crazy' Reputation
UPPER WEST SIDE — A man accused of going on a stabbing rampage and slashing five people with a pair of broken scissors in Riverside Park earlier this month told police who arrested him that he had a reputation for being "crazy," according to court documents revealed Tuesday.
Julius Graham, 43, who appeared calm and composed at his appearance in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday, dressed in a light blue jumpsuit with a closely cropped beard, told the officers who arrested him after a 9-minute rampage that he stayed at a homeless shelter in the Bronx, and "They just tell me I'm crazy in that place," according to court documents.
Graham, who was indicted on of five counts of attempted murder, as well as assault and attempted assault, pleaded not guilty in a voice barely above a whisper on Tuesday.
The Texas native was described by witneses as behaving “like a zombie” during the park attack near West 62nd Street on the morning of Oct. 1.
Graham allegedly used a pair of broken scissors to slash and stab five people, including an 18-month-old baby boy, the boy's father, a man walking his dog, and two women out for a jog.
The rampage, which took place just after 8 a.m., was stopped by passerby Thomas Ciriacks, 49, who was out walking his dog when he heard a woman screaming.
Ciriacks, who stands 6-feet-3 and weighs in at 201 pounds, wrestled Graham to the ground, pinning him down until police arrived five minutes later, police said.
Police told reporters at the time of the attack that Graham had a history of mental illness, but it was not clear what his diagnosis was or whether he was on medication. Graham was arraigned from Bellevue Hospital, but was subsequently relocated to Rikers Island.
But he sounded lucid when he spoke to officers at Bellevue a few hours after the incident, telling them, "I'm homeless and living on the streets and from time to time I live in the shelter... who are you? I thought you were my lawyer. I don't think I should talk to anybody without a lawyer."
Graham's lawyer, Heather Smith of the Legal Aid Society, would not comment on Graham's mental state on Tuesday.
Graham is being held without bail at Rikers and is due back in court Dec. 10.