NY City Ballet star is stabbed on a walk in the park

NY City Ballet star is stabbed on a walk in the park


norman lebrecht

October 03, 2013

James Fayette, retired soloist of New York City Ballet, was walking his kid through Riverside Park when he became the  fifth victim of a scissor-wielding attacker at 8 a.m. He is recovering in hospital, after shielding his son with his body. Among other victims was a Simon & Schuster book editor.

More here.



  • Gary Carpenter says:

    Thank goodness he and all the others survived with their lives. Had they lived in a city that didn’t have an outright ban on the possession of handguns, they may not have.

    • Richard says:

      Had he and the others lived in a city that ALLOWED responsible people to carry handguns concealed, Edward Scissorhands would be no more.

      Would you walk in the jungle unarmed? What ever happened to common sense?

      • George Templeton says:

        Your question, “Would you walk in the jungle unarmed?” would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. The reason human civilisation created cities and humans chose to group together, among other reasons, was to NOT live in a jungle, threatened by wild animals, poisonous spiders and their like. You are clearly admitting that U.S. society now lives in the equivalent of a wild jungle, where everybody needs to be armed against unpredictable savage threats. You have just exposed what your society has become, something that the rest of the civilised world finds appalling and reprehensible. Arm yourselves, if you want, but leave the rest of the world alone, PLEASE!

      • timwalton3 says:

        Thank goodness I’ve never wanted to go to the USA. It appears to be either full of Gun Nuts, God Nuts & Tea Party Nuts

        I can’t decide which is the worst or Stupidist

        • MWnyc says:

          Not all of us, Tim.

          And there are places whose people you might find quite congenial. (The “red-state/blue-state” thing can be a very rough guide; a better guide would be red counties and blue counties, and such maps do exist.)

          Come on over. You might well enjoy New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco or Washington, DC or Boston or Philadelphia (well, some people there might yell at you, but that’s all) or Vermont or Minnesota (most people there aren’t at all like the Minnesota Orchestra board) or New Mexico.

          But you might want to avoid, say, Oklahoma. Or (for different reasons) Florida.

          • timwalton3 says:

            I’m sure that not everyone in the USA is one of these ‘NUTS’, the trouble is is most states one or other of the ‘NUTS’ are in charge & weald too much power.

      • MWnyc says:

        “Had he and the others lived in a city that ALLOWED responsible people to carry handguns concealed, Edward Scissorhands would be no more.”

        Maybe. Or maybe someone trying to shoot Mr. Scissorhands would have missed and shot a bystander or some poor innocent dog instead.

        Or maybe Mr. Scissorhands himself would have had the gun.

  • Una says:

    I know this beautiful park well, and you wouldn’t think it would happen there, and walked through it myself as so many do each morning. How awful.

    • MWnyc says:

      It doesn’t normally happen there, Una, thank goodness.

      This was a single disturbed individual, and this sort of thing can happen anywhere where the authorities can’t simply lock up on their own say-so anyone they decide might be disturbed.

      New York City isn’t quite Toronto, but it is, and has been for some years, the safest large city in the U.S.

  • Lauren says:

    America is a scary place to live these days. Lots of aggressive, desperate, heavily-armed men roaming the streets looking for trouble. It is even happening in peace-loving San Francisco with monotonous regularity. I fear that as the economy crashes and burns it will only get worse. I’m considering England or Canada as my next residence.

    I sincerely hope the victims of the NYC crimes make a full recovery. People need to find ways to help the homeless and mentally ill so these terrible things do not happen in such staggering numbers.

    • Greg Hlatky says:

      Quite clearly this indicates the need for tighter scissors control laws in the US. Scissors nuts seem to think they have some untrammeled “right” to buy and use their Saturday Night Slicers and high-capacity assault choppers. Sensible, commonsense restrictions on the ownership of scissors have been blocked by intense and unreasonable opposition of the powerful, well-funded Scissors Lobby and their lickspittle minions in Congress. The so-called “right to bear scissors” dates from a time when scissors weren’t mass produced like they are now.

      Get a grip. The rate of violent crime in the US as a whole has fallen by nearly 50% over the last 20 years (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1). Of course when you live in a city you have a much better chance of being a victim. In cities of 250,000 and more, the violent crime rate in 2011 was 754 per 100,000 while the rate for suburban areas was a third of that and nonmetropolitan counties it was a less than a quarter (180 per 100,000 people).

      Nor is the incidence of violent crime evenly distributed. Chicago (which has very restrictive gun-control laws, by the way) has homicide rate of 16 per 100,000 people while states like Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Hawaii and Utah have homicide rates comparable to those in Europe.

      These are facts that anyone can find with a minimum of effort. Too bad supercilious Europeans and their oikophobic camp-followers can’t be bothered to make even that.

      • MWnyc says:

        A well regulated Coiffure, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Scissors, shall not be infringed.

      • Marjorie says:

        ” Chicago (which has very restrictive gun-control laws, by the way) has homicide rate of 16 per 100,000 people …”

        It has been pointed out that while Chicago has restrictive gun laws, surrounding states do NOT. It is easy enough to bring in guns. In California, where I live, guns are regularly brought in from Nevada which has less strict gun laws than California. Gun regulations won’t work unless they are nationwide.

        As for the Central Park incident: Sarcastic suggestions about “the need to regulate scissors”

        were to be expected. But, thank God the man only had scissors and not, say, an AR-15, or those people (and possibly a good many others) would not be injured, but DEAD.

    • MWnyc says:

      America is a scary place to live these days. Lots of aggressive, desperate, heavily-armed men roaming the streets looking for trouble.”

      Not in NYC. Sounds more like Florida.

  • Rodney says:

    When will Americans wake up and realise that they live in a very sick and twisted society that few in the civilised world want to be part of anymore? Hardly a week goes by in that country without some new horrifying human event, scissor attacks on innocent walkers, school shootings, armed deranged people going around armed, random senseless killings, grisly and deeply perverse depraved murders, children being abused, tortured, killed, etc., etc., etc. Yes, things like this happen occasionally elsewhere, but not with the regularity,depravity, quantity nor senselessness as in the U.S. Yet, the average American still thinks that they live in an “exceptional” great country, a paradise and believe that their citizens should be “armed to the teeth” to protect themselves (they call that freedom!) and feel totally justified in preaching and lecturing the world on how others should structure their society. Meanwhile they have become the most spied upon, oppressed and monitored citizens on the planet and believe that they can and should spy on the entire planet as well, have a dysfunctional government, now in “shutdown” with a total default looming in a few days time and countless cities either in total decay, bankruptcy or collapse (Detroit and others) or teetering on the verge of financial collapse. Alongside that, their cultural institutions are collapsing (New York City Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, etc., etc.) and on and on it goes. If they can’t see where they are heading, then they are totally delusional. Yet there are no demonstrations and the few attempts (the Occupy Movement, for example) were quickly and brutally repressed by the totalitarian authorities. All that while keeping a straight face and telling the world that they are the beacon of democracy and freedom!

    We certainly have our serious problems in the European Union and these problems are enormous and threatening, but nowhere in the EU do we live in such total societal breakdown, financial chaos, violence and decay like in the U.S. Wake up Americans! We need you here in Europe. I think that a great part of our own inertia here in Europe, both financially and culturally stems from the obvious decay and imminent collapse of the U.S.

    • Richard says:

      British simply stab the people that they cannot shoot.

      • George Templeton says:

        Here again, above, in the so-called comment by Richard to Rodney, one sees how hard it is for Americans to face the reality that they are in, acknowledge their abysmal state of affairs and and “smell the coffee”. While there may be stabbings in Britain, just a cursory look at the comparative per capita murder rates and violent crime statistics would show him that something is so inherently wrong with American society that they are off the charts. That they always need to lash out in such brutal and violent ways and think (read Richard’s post from above in reply to Gary Carpenter) that arming everybody makes for a safe and peaceful paradise. What simplistic rubbish!

      • timwalton3 says:

        Who says so. Rodney’s comments have far more sense than your silly comment

  • Lawrence says:

    OK, OK people! Enough America bashing – especially from you Americans here! First, let’s not forget about poor Mr Fayette and hope he and the other people the scissor-maniac stabbed are recovering. That kind of attack can leave psychological scars that take much longer to heal than the physical injuries. So let’s hope for a speedy recovery for him and admire his courage in protecting his young son from injury.

    Second, think about this news headline: “300 Million Americans Go About Their Lives Today – Nothing Bad Happens To Them”. Familiar? Well, of course not. News reporting is built around scaring you with Bad Stuff – if it bleeds it leads – making you fearful so you keep tuning into their newscasts or reading their website so you can be warned about the scary things they keep telling you about.

    So, yes, some American cities have bad violent crime problems – Detroit, Chicago – and when you tote up a days’ worth of news crime stories from across the Fruited Plain, it starts to seem like the place is up for grabs, totally lawless, and the Social Contract has collapsed. Well, it has NOT.

    Des Moines, the nearest large city to me (metro area population ~560,000), recorded its sixth murder of 2012 in DECEMBER. Last year, there was a murder in the town on whose outskirts I live – first one since I moved here 8 years ago. There *are* civilians walking around with government-licensed concealed handguns for self-defense purposes, but MOST of us go about our quotidians lives without pakcing heat or worrying particularly about crime. Though the present story is a reminder that bad people can show up randomly and do bad things.

    P.S. For the foreigners reading this: yes, many of us Americans would like to spend much more time NOT meddling in other countries’ affairs. But our government pays about as much attention to us as yours does of you.