By Benjamin Passikoff
Ahmed Jaradat contributing reporting.
At 11:10 A.M. today as John Jay College students prepared for a 3rd period research class in room 107 of Westport, a student attacked another with an 8-inch serrated bread knife.
“There was an incident,” risk management and ethics manager Ryan Eustace said. “One student was arrested. One student went to the hospital.”
The altercation occurred before the professor had arrived for class.
It is not clear how long the fight lasted, but the assailant was taken into custody by NYPD officers and the wounded student was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital across from Harren Hall.
Professor Maria Volpe, a professor of sociology at John Jay, was on her way to meet Kate Szur, who is senior director of Student Academic Success Programs.
“I was twenty minutes early to my meeting,” Professor Volpe said. “There were all these students rushing out of the building.”
According to Professor Volpe, one of Szur’s student peer leaders had taken control of the security desk, as the Public Safety officer had chased after the assailant towards 10th Avenue.
“I heard some skirmish,” Szur said. “I was on my email, trying to finish my work. We came down to ask security what happened.”
Stephanie Zomer, a John Jay Health Services employee and member of Student Academic Success Programs, whose offices are in Westport, was one of the first responders to scene.
“The students came screaming out of their classroom saying that a student was just stabbed,” Zomer said.
Zomer ran down the stairs, out of the building, and towards 10th Avenue. As she reached the corner of 56th Street, she saw Public Safety had subdued the assailant on the corner of 55th Street and 10th Avenue.
“By the time I got there, security was holding him down, and people from the streets were holding him down, and the guy that actually got stabbed was holding him down,” Zomer said. “So I got the guy that was bleeding all over the place-I took my shirt off right away and I wrapped it around [his wrist].”
The Counseling department provided with fresh John Jay work out apparel as a replacement for her bloody clothes.
“He had a really deep laceration on his wrist, and his bone was out,” Zomer said. “I was trying to put as much pressure on it as possible. I just had blood all over me from trying to get it to stop bleeding, but it just wouldn’t….”
The two students were in the same class, but, according to Zomar, the victim did not even know his assailant, or why his assailant attacked him.
Professor Volpe and Szur remained on the scene with Zomer and waited as a public safety officer took her statement in a back conference room of Westport.
Dean of students Kenneth Holmes was proud of the speedy rate of response. He was involved in a behavioral intervention meeting with members of his office, Public Safety, and college council, when he heard the news.
“When we heard about the situation, the assistant director for security went to initially take care of the situation, then counciling went, then I went,” Holmes said. “It was the ninth response from the college community in hearing about it, and getting the information to all of the different ears of the university that needed to respond.”