New York City, NY

Accused NYC Subway Slasher Held Without Bail as Family Labels Him 'Crazy'

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Kemal Rideout, was arrested in Harlem on Tuesday morning after being removed from a bus, possibly while attempting to flee with his motherPhoto byGregory P. Mango
A Manhattan man facing charges for a series of brutal subway attacks, which left three women injured, was ordered to be held without bail on Wednesday. Interestingly, even his own aunt referred to him as "crazy." While prosecutors implied that the accused, Kemal Rideout, 28, might have been mentally competent enough to flee with his mother while evading capture, he was apprehended two days later after attempting to evade the fare on a bus in Harlem. Authorities discovered a red bag containing clothing, including clean underwear and toiletries, further suggesting a possible flight risk.

Assistant District Attorney Bernard Eyth stated in Manhattan Criminal Court that Rideout's actions indicated a potential desire to leave the area, considering his possession of clean clothing and choosing to board a bus rather than a train. Rideout now faces three counts of felony assault. Manhattan prosecutors provided additional details about the attacks, revealing the severity of the victims' injuries. One victim's wound was so severe that a tourniquet had to be applied before she was rushed to Bellevue Hospital. Another victim required 48 stitches, while the third victim needed 19 stitches.

According to a criminal complaint, one of the victims reported that after being slashed, she turned around and saw a male suspect standing behind her, holding what appeared to be a glass. The harrowing incident was captured on video by a 28-year-old straphanger, who pursued the assailant into another subway car, pleading for assistance. In the video, the woman can be heard sobbing, urging others to call 911 and pull the emergency brake while her left leg continues to bleed profusely.

Rideout's aunt, speaking after his arraignment, described him as "crazy" and acknowledged that he exhibited similar behavior in court. She further stated that while she knew about his troubled past, the recent events were news to her. Assistant District Attorney Eyth described the attacks as a culmination of escalating violence against women, coupled with underlying psychological issues.

Rideout's defense attorney now seeks a psychiatric evaluation for her client, who has previously avoided responsibility for four crimes by claiming mental illness or defect. Rideout's prior criminal record, dating back to 2008 in upstate New York, includes charges of assault, attempted rape, forcible touching, and criminal mischief. Defense attorney Naima Gregory argued that given her client's psychiatric history, it is essential for a mental health specialist to assess his fitness to stand trial.

Gregory emphasized that she was uncertain about Rideout's current mental state and requested the evaluation. She also contended that Rideout's attempt to board the bus was not an effort to escape from the police but rather his mother's decision to transport him to Mount Siani Hospital for assistance. Rideout's mother chose not to comment as she left the court premises on Wednesday.

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