MIDTOWN — He was playing tag with a blade.
The teen charged with stabbing three high school classmates during a wild melee on West 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue in May told police he thought he was just “poking them” with the knife, according to court papers.
“I got into a fight at school last week, and we were both suspended,” Juan Gomez, 16, told detectives. “He was threatening me through Facebook saying he was going to shoot me. I brought the knife to school for protection.”
“He came with a ton of his friends,” Gomez added. “I got punched. I thought I was just poking them, but I stabbed him and two other people he was with.”
Gomez is now facing assault charges for the attack, which left a 15-year-old boy with wounds to his liver and kidney and injured two other teens, 16 and 18, police said.
All four were students at nearby P.S. 35.
Gomez referred to two of his victims as “white dude, blue doorag” and the third victim as a “dark skinned dude,” according to court papers.
He added that after he stabbed the "dark skinned dude," the knife got stuck in the victim's bag, prosecutors said.
Gomez pleaded not guilty to assault charges at his Supreme Court arraignment earlier this month and is currently being held on Rikers Island, records show.
His lawyer, Julie Rendelman, declined to address the “poking” defense, but said, “I do think there’s more to the story than what the complainants are saying happened.”
Gomez is next due in court Sept. 15.