In a chilling incident in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, an 83-year-old man allegedly attacked two attendees with a machete, leaving one with a deep gash in the neck. Witnesses at the scene described the suspect moving “like a samurai.”
Brian Espinal, 35, one of the victims, recounted the terrifying moment: “There was no altercation, no disagreement. I was engrossed in a YouTube video on an iPad with my friend when suddenly, I felt a blow to the back of my head. Soon after, a girl emerged from the bathroom, and she was hit too.” Espinal recognized the man from previous visits to the basement social club on Scholes Street where the attack took place.
A shocking turn for a familiar face
Espinal, a film production assistant with a fresh bandage on his neck, was puzzled by the behavior of the elderly man. “He was always jovial, often sharing stories from his time as a Vietnam veteran. He didn’t have any family and was often alone,” Espinal mused. “Perhaps he missed his medication that night. His demeanor, the trench coat, the machete in hand — he looked straight out of a samurai movie.”
Police officials pieced together the events leading up to the violence. Around 2:00 a.m., an argument broke out between the elderly suspect, Espinal, and a 28-year-old woman. Without warning, the suspect brandished a machete, striking the woman on her forehead and Espinal on his neck.
Recalling the blur of the attack, Espinal said, “After he struck me, I crumpled to the ground. I wasn’t sure if I’d survive. My backward-worn hat might have saved me from more severe injury.” The visor of the hat took the brunt of the machete’s blow, as reported by the New York Post.
Arrest and aftermath
Responding officers arrested the elderly suspect at the scene, recovering the machete. He was later taken to Kings County Hospital for treatment of a self-inflicted hand injury. Charges are pending as the investigation continues.
A local resident, who wished to remain anonymous, described the building where the incident took place as a recurrent source of disturbance. “The building has been problematic for years,” they revealed. “Despite our numerous calls to the police about the frequent fights and disturbances, little has changed.” The resident painted a vivid picture of raucous gatherings in the basement, complete with card games, loud conversations, and occasional brawls.
Contrary to the resident’s claims, an NYPD spokesperson mentioned that this was the first call to the building in September.