Tuesday, July 9, 2024

D.A. Bragg announces indictment of suspect in random slashing on Astor Place

Top photo from June 6 via the Citizen app 

Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg yesterday announced the indictment of Steven Johnson, 35, in the random slashing of a man on Astor Place on June 6. Bragg said that Johnson is also accused of assaulting a restaurant employee with a tire chain on St Mark's Place the day before. 

The D.A.'s office stated that Johnson "is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with one count of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, two counts of Assault in the First Degree, and one count of Assault in the Second Degree." 
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, on June 5, 2024, at approximately 12:45 p.m. at 34 St. Mark's Place, Johnson was lying in front of and partially blocking the doorway of a restaurant entrance [there are two restaurants at the address — Birria LES and Anytime Street]. The restaurant employee recognized Johnson from a similar prior encounter, asked him to leave, and called 911. While the restaurant employee was on the phone with dispatchers, Johnson approached him from behind and struck him in the head with a metal bike chain, causing significant bleeding from a laceration that required stitches at Bellevue Hospital. 

The next day, on June 6, 2024, Johnson was removed from the Union Square subway station after sitting in the middle of the platform and blocking pedestrian traffic. Minutes later, at approximately 5:15 p.m., Johnson walked behind a man who was seated at a table in the Astor Place pedestrian plaza and slashed him with a sharp object from his right ear to his left shoulder.

Johnson fled to the subway station at East 14th Street and First Avenue while bystanders rendered aid to the victim, who was rushed to Bellevue Hospital. The victim underwent surgery and is facing permanent scarring.
Police arrested Johnson on June 8 at the subway station on East 86th Street and Lexington Avenue wearing the same clothing he had on during the alleged assaults.

"My thoughts are with the victims as they heal from their extensive injuries," said Bragg in a statement. "Those who harm and threaten the safety of New Yorkers will be held accountable."

Public records show that Johnson is due back in court on Aug. 12.

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