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Box Cutter-Wielding Union Square Slasher Arrested in Harlem, Police Say

Union Square Slasher Suspect
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UNION SQUARE — The man who went on slashing spree with a box cutter near Union Square this week was arrested Thursday morning, NYPD said.

Derrick Mcleod, 24, the Bed-Stuy resident who slashed three men and punched two women in the face near Union Square, was arrested in an East Harlem housing complex at 1 a.m. Thursday for criminal trespassing, police said.

“He’s a violent and troubled individual,” said Chief of Manhattan Detectives William Aubry at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Mcleod has been arrested 30 times as an adult, police said. Those include eight assault charges, five theft of service charges and four marijuana possession charges, as well as arrests for violating orders of protection, police said.

Mcleod had not been charged in connection with the Union Square attacks as of Friday evening, but police said they were working with the Manhattan District Attorney's office and that the charges were pending.

The string of attacks early Wednesday started after Mcleod, who is unemployed, left his friend’s apartment in Brooklyn and headed to the Jay Street MetroTech subway station near Fulton Street about 12:30 a.m., police said.

He boarded a Manhattan-bound F train along with a 24-year-old woman who was going home from work and randomly punched her in the face at 1:10 a.m., police said.

Mcleod exited the train at the Broadway-Lafayette station and switched to a northbound 6 train at 1:18 a.m., when a 31-year-old man also entered the train and made eye contact with Mcleod, police said.

Mcleod told the victim, “Don’t get on the train with me,” and then went up to him and slashed him in the face with the box cutter, severely cutting him, police said. 

He then left the train at Union Square at about 1:20 a.m., where he punched a 20-year-old woman in the face, police said.

Then, out on the street near the Union Square Food Emporium, Mcleod approached a 46-year-old man and asked him for $2, then slashed him in the face when he refused, police said. 

Finally, several minutes later, McLeod asked a 59-year-old man waiting for the M14 bus for money and when he declined, slashed him in the face as well, police said.

The victims were taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.

Police arrested Mcleod at Metro North Houses, at 135 E. 101st St., according to Aubry.

Officers confiscated a box cutter, sneakers and other clothing from him as evidence.

Information about his lawyer was not immediately available.