Accused Riverside Park Slasher Considering Insanity Defense, Lawyer Says
UPPER WEST SIDE — The man who allegedly slashed five people with a pair of scissors in Riverside Park in early October is considering an insanity defense, his defense attorney said Tuesday.
Julius Graham, 43 — who is charged with going on a 9-minute-long slashing spree, injuring five park-goers before being subdued by a good Samaritan — told police at the time of his arrest he was known for being "crazy" at the Bronx homeless shelter he'd been staying at before the attack.
"We are exploring a plea of insanity," Graham's attorney, Heather Smith of the Legal Aid Society, told Justice Gregory Carro in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday.
Graham has been evaluated by two different doctors, and their determinations will be presented to the court at his next appearance on Feb. 4, Smith said.
Graham appeared calm in court, wearing a brown and white striped shirt, khakis and a beard.
On Oct. 1, Graham slashed an 18-month-old baby boy, the boy's father, a man walking his dog, and two women out for a jog, according to police.
Thomas Ciriacks, 49, wrestled Graham to the ground when he saw him attacking a young woman in the park near West 60th Street, at around 7:45 a.m. He then kept him pinned down to the ground until police arrived, he said.
"He was lurching about like a zombie," Ciriacks said at the time, adding, "his eyes were crazy."
Graham is charged with five counts of attempted murder, as well as assault and attempted assault, and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.