‘SoHo Wild Man’ strikes again, stabs New York City street vendor

This article originally appeared in The Daily News.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Monday, June 23, 2014, 3:43 PM Updated: Monday, June 23, 2014, 7:41 PM
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiJEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWSRichard Pearson, shown at Manhattan Supreme Court in October, is in trouble with the law again after allegedly stabbing a man in SoHo.

A 60-year-old street vendor stabbed in broad daylight Monday by a hulking homeless man with a history of violence said it’s about time his attacker serves a long prison sentence.

“I hope he goes to jail,” Baare Batchiri said from his bed at Bellevue Hospital. “Maybe this time he’s going to stay there a very long time, because he’s very dangerous.”

The suspect, Richard Pearson, the so-called “SoHo Wild Man,” is no stranger to Batchiri and scores of other residents and merchants who have been intimidated in recent years by the 6-foot-4, 250-pound drifter.

At 11:10 a.m. Monday, Pearson allegedly struck again.

Batchiri was selling cell phone accessories on Broadway, just south of West Houston Street.

Pearson, police said, had just had an argument with a passerby.

Then he set his sights on Batchiri.

“He starts cursing at me,” Batchiri recalled. “He was saying, ‘F–k you. You are black from Africa.” Pearson is also black, but American-born.

Then, Batchiri said, Pearson started pushing him.

“He got (my scissors) and he cut me here,” the victim said, pointing to his chest. “After he did that, I see blood coming.”

Batchiri ran to a nearby police car, where two officers, seeing all the blood, clambered out to help. Pearson, who fled into a nearby subway station, was arrested about 20 minutes later and charged with attempted murder.

Batchiri, who lives in the Bronx and has three teen children, is in no position to stay in the hospital for very long.

“I have to go back to work,” he said.

Bernard Thompson, Batchiri’s business partner, called the suspect “a menace to society.”

Pearson has more than 20 arrests on his record, police have said, including for assault and drugs.

He served two years in state prison following a 2001 assault in Manhattan in which he beat a man with a wooden chair, according to records.

Last year, after Pearson was busted for throwing a brick at someone, residents reportedly posted flyers around the neighborhood urging authorities to keep him behind bars.

Pearson was not indicted.

He was, however, busted for drug possession and was sentenced to 10 months behind bars.

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Author: sabrinacaserta

Sabrina Caserta, born and bred in Bronx, New York, is a freelance reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News and Street Sense- a homeless-run street paper located in the District. As a member of Roger Williams University’s class of 2016, Sabrina studied Journalism and Political Science. This fueled her passion for social justice reporting, including issues of homelessness, institutionalized racism, poverty, education and the environment. She also served as the Project Director of the nation-brand initiative, The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, and as a Resident Assistant for three years. As an avid reader, health enthusiast and travel addict, Sabrina enjoys yoga, cooking and writing in her spare time. She aspires to one day be an investigative journalist and travel the world. Twitter: @sabrinacaserta Email: sabcaserta AT gmail DOT com

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