A woman from New Jersey, Ola Albanni, has been charged with a horrific slashing incident that occurred outside a Manhattan pizza shop. The incident took place on Friday evening, when Albanni allegedly approached a 65-year-old woman on the sidewalk outside 2 Bros Pizza on Eighth Avenue and West 38th Street. Without any apparent provocation, Albanni attacked the woman, slashing her across the face with a large kitchen knife. The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she received six stitches for her injuries before being released.
Albanni's arrest on Sunday was not her first encounter with the law regarding violent attacks. In May, she allegedly punched a 34-year-old woman in the face on Third Avenue and East 37th Street. She then proceeded to threaten another stranger with a box cutter that was later found in her purse. Despite these charges, Albanni was released without bail at her arraignment in the May case.
During her arraignment for the recent slashing incident, Albanni shocked those in attendance by making threats to the presiding judge, Miriam Best. She warned Judge Best that she would slash her face if she was put in jail for an extended period. Albanni repeated this threat before launching into an incoherent rant that lasted a full minute. Concerned for Albanni's mental state, Judge Best ordered her to be removed from the courtroom and taken for a psychiatric evaluation.
The severity of Albanni's actions has led prosecutors to push for a bail of at least $100,000. She is currently facing a first-degree assault charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Adding to the gravity of the situation is the fact that Albanni had an outstanding arrest warrant at the time of the attack. She had failed to appear in court for her earlier case, leading to the warrant being issued.
This disturbing incident is just one in a series of knife attacks that have plagued New York City's streets and subways in 2023. NYPD data revealed that knife attacks have risen by 26% since 2019. From January 1 to August 13, there have been 3,365 non-fatal stabbings, compared to 2,666 incidents four years ago. This figure represents a 5% increase from the same period last year, during which victims suffered 3,208 non-fatal knife attacks. Furthermore, 53 individuals have lost their lives due to stabbing and slashing attacks in New York City during this time, marking a shocking 29% increase from 2019's count of 41 fatal attacks.
The motive behind Albanni's attack remains unclear. The NYPD released security footage showing her fleeing the scene of the crime. In the footage, Albanni can be seen wearing a furry black coat, a matching bucket hat, pink shorts, and buckled shoes. She also carries shopping bags and reaches into one of them with her hand. The release of this footage is an attempt to gather information and aid in the investigation.
The surge in knife attacks in New York City has sparked concern and heightened the need for increased security measures. Authorities will be working diligently to ensure the safety of residents and visitors as they investigate these incidents further.
themes: New York City New Jersey New York (state)