This article originally appeared in The Daily News.
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.