East Village triple stabbing exposes ongoing issues on certain NYC blocks

Ongoing issues on 14th Street in NYC were highlighted again this week after a triple stabbing by an emotionally disturbed person left one man dead in the East Village, the NYPD said.

More police are in the area, but people living there say more has to be done – not only on 14th Street, but other blocks in the city.

Open drug use, crime, homelessness and serious mental illness are just some of the issues that have been present in New York City for years, but certain blocks have been more plagued by problems.

East Village 

Making headlines again on Sunday was 14th Street, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A in the East Village.

According to police, a mentally ill man went on a stabbing rampage, hurting three people. A 38-year-old man was killed, police said.

East Harlem

Another problematic block is in East Harlem on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue.

Last year, FOX 5 NY's Lisa Evers reported on Operation Four Corners, aimed at cleaning up the area. A police presence is still constant, but the issues still remain. Many refer to a particular intersection as "Zombieland", as drug users drift bent over at the waist while high. 

Business has also been nearly impossible to maintain. 

  • On the northeast corner, McDonald's shut down.
  • On the northwest corner, Duane Reade closed.
  • On the southeast corner. Pathmark was demolished.
  • On the southwest corner, a pizzeria and bodega were also raised.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams says the city has performed repeated operations to fix the issues, and NYPD data shows crime in the 9th Precinct, which includes 14th Street, has dropped 30% over the past year. But even excellent police work doesn't get to the root of the problem with mental illness and drug addiction.


NYPD operation aims to improve East Harlem quality of life: 'We call this area the walking dead'

Operation Four Corners is a new initiative by the NYPD and city agencies to try to clean up the area of the Lexington Avenue strip leading into the 125th St. intersection.

The city wants the Supportive Interventions Act passed for more clarity on the current state law to have the ability to involuntarily remove and hospitalize individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others. 

So far this year, the city has involuntarily removed 2,800 people to connect them to resources, but they claim they'd be able to expand their reach. 

The city says the state's legal standard for involuntary hospitalization is "often interpreted too narrowly, denying desperately needed treatment to those who are not demonstrably violent or suicidal, or engaging in blatantly dangerous conduct."

"There are people who are on the street with severe mental health issues that can't take care of themselves, and we need to be honest about that and give us the authority to give them the care that they need," Adams said.

But the city admits, improvements won't happen soon.

"This is not something that started in 2022, and it's not something that's probably going to be solved right away," says Anne Williams-Isom, deputy mayor for health and human services.