Man accused of randomly slashing French tourist's throat in New York

Alex Woodward

A French photographer visiting New York over Valentine's Day weekend to surprise his girlfriend has survived a random attack that left him with a slashed throat.

As reported by the New York Post, 27-year-old Gabriel Bascou was visiting his girlfriend in Harlem, where she is working as an au pair, when a man cut his face and neck with a knife, then fled as the photographer's blood spilled on the sidewalk and his stunned girlfriend kneeled beside him.

The couple were leaving an IHOP restaurant on Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard near West 132nd Street around 11am on Friday when the man surprised Mr Bascou and quickly slashed at his face.

In an Instagram story, Mr Bascou wrote: "I didn't see anything coming, he didn't steal anything from me ... Just a gratuitous blow of absolute violence."

On Monday, police arrested 28-year-old Khalief Young on two counts of assault in the second degree.

Mr Young had previously been sentenced to two years in prison following a conviction on charges of attempted weapon possession in 2015, New York records show.

On 20 October, he was charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly ringing a woman's doorbell in Manhattan, then attacking the woman when she answered. He was released the following day and is set to appear in court on 2 March.

Khalief Young is suspected of slitting the throat of a French photographer visiting his girlfriend in New York. (New York Police Department)

According to authorities, he refused to leave his holding cell on Tuesday morning and was set to be arraigned later in the day in New York Criminal Court.

"I didn't see him coming", Mr Bascou told the Post. "At first I thought it was a punch."

His attacker looked him in the eye "and started running" as the feeling of warm blood trickled down his coat, he said. Onlookers "didn't understand what was going on" while his girlfriend shouted for help.

"The people around me seemed terrified," said Mr Bascou, who tried to remain calm as he listed his blood type and allergies to his girlfriend before doctors arrived.

Doctors performed a tracheotomy on Mr Bascou, who required a transfusion of two pints of blood. He is recovering at Harlem Hospital Center.

He told the paper that he's in "really bad shape" after the procedure left him with a lung infection.

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