NYPD Arrests Suspect in Upper East Side Stabbing

The 24-year-old woman is expected to survive

By Shimon Prokupecz
|  Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012  |  Updated 11:17 PM EDT
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Cops Search for Stabbing Suspect

NBC 4 New York/NYPD

Suspect in stabbing on Upper East Side Tuesday, July 17; Sabatha Tirado, inset

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Cops Search for Stabbing Suspect

Police are on the hunt for a man who pulled a knife and stabbed a complete stranger on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Marc Santia reports.
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Police have arrested a suspect in the stabbing of a woman walking near East 86th Street and First Avenue on the Upper East Side Tuesday. 

Curtis Forteau, 29, was arrested Wednesday on charges of second-degree attempted murder, attempted assault with intent, assault, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Sources said Forteau has a history of mental illness and has been arrested in the past for threatening people with a knife. He is also on probation for assault, sources said.

He was apprehended while lying on a bench on Wards Island, sources said, wearing what appeared to be the same clothing seen in the photos released by police.

He yelled to reporters, "I didn't do it," as he was walked out of a police station after being arraigned.

Authorities said the 24-year-old woman was running errands with a friend a few blocks from the salon where she works Tuesday morning when she encountered a man armed with a kitchen knife wrapped in a plastic bag.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the man tried to take her bag, and when she resisted, stabbed her.

He also sprayed her in the face with an unknown substance. The woman, identified as Sabatha Tirado, remains hospitalized at New York-Presbyterian. The hospital could not provide an update on her condition.

Police recovered the knife used in the stabbing after a witness told detectives he saw the suspect drop a plastic bag as he ran down 85th Street after the attack, law enforcement sources said.

The witness told police a city street cleaning truck had swept up the bag after the suspect dropped it, and police were able to track down the street cleaner and sift through the debris, where they found the knife.

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