GREENWICH VILLAGE — A homeless man wielding a pair of scissors in one hand and a cane in the other threatened a 15-year-old boy walking with his mom on West 14th Street, saying, "I'm going to kill your little kid" before turning the blade on two other men, police said.
Douglas Gaston, 50, who has been arrested at least five times before, accosted the boy outside the on the north side of West 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues about 9 p.m., prosecutors said Wednesday.
"I'm going to kill you. I'm going to kill you. I'm going to kill your little kid," Gaston said while flailing his arms, according to prosecutors.
He then crossed the street and stabbed a 42-year-old man in the chest outside the Salvation Army at 120 W. 14th St., leaving him with a "large gaping wound," and a 32-year-old man in the right armpit, leaving punctures about "the size of dimes," prosecutors said.
The men suffered critical injuries, but were listed in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital, police said. The victims' involvement in the incident prior to being attacked is unclear.
The boy and his mother were unharmed, police said.
The violent scene unfolded under a sidewalk shed at the entrance of the charity organization. Gaston was shouting and waving his arms, police said, and one of his victim's clothing was covered with blood.
"His shirt was soaked with blood in the chest area. He was holding his shirt. After [one of the victims] was stabbed, he went up to the dude and said, 'Why'd you stab me?'" said witness Anthony Smith. "It was some crazy s--t."
Gaston dashed away after the attack, but police caught up with him after a short pursuit.
Smith said Gaston ran across the street and simply sat down, waiting for officers to cuff him.
"It was bugged out. He was just sitting there with a knife in his hand while waiting to be arrested," Smith said. "[Police] ran toward Sixth with their guns drawn. I said, 'The dude is across the street!'"
Smith claimed the stabbing was sparked by a dispute over a K2 sale between Gaston and one of the victims, who wanted the attacker to pay $3 for a single cigarette of the synthetic marijuana while Gaston only wanted to pay $2.
"He said, 'F--k you!' Then he went back to a shopping cart and grabbed the [blade]," Smith said. "He came back and stabbed them both in the chest. There was a lot of blood all over."
Police couldn't confirm the witness's account.
Gaston was arrested and arraigned on charges of attempted murder, attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, prosecutors said.
He was held on $250,000 bail and is due back in court Friday, records show.
Gaston, who's homeless, has been arrested nine times before, police said.
He was arrested in 2000, 2002 and 2006, but police records for those arrests are sealed, officials said.
He was picked up in 2007 for criminal possession of a controlled substance and again for assault, police said.
He was arrested in 2010 for burglary, for "unlawful activity" in 2014 and for petit larceny earlier this year, police said.
The circumstances for those arrests weren't immediately clear.