Authorities in New York City say they have apprehended the self-proclaimed “ninja” who attacked a straphanger on a subway train Thursday while brandishing a sword sheath. Less than half a mile from where he allegedly slammed his 29-year-old victim over the head with the encased weapon, Selwyn Bernardez was detained on the junction of Lispenard Street and West Broadway in Lower Manhattan on Friday afternoon, the NYPD said.
The alleged perpetrator, a 27-year-old Brooklyn resident, was charged with assault and reckless endangerment. This accused victim of Bernardez’s was Larry Griffin II, who in 2019 left at least two rice cooker explosives in the Fulton Street subway station while he was on parole. A disagreement began at 9:30 a.m. when Griffin pursued Bernardez into a northbound A train as it approached the Chambers Street Station, according to police sources who spoke to The Post.
The two men exited the vehicle, and Griffin was later seen with a significant cut on his head, according to police and the sources. Bernardez, dressed in all black and wearing a cap and sunglasses, fled the area without picking up his firearm. According to Mayor Eric Adams, the city has been experiencing a mental health crisis, and this incident is a prime illustration.
Police don’t reveal the cause of the fight
Adams said on Thursday that an examination of subway violence shows it is “driven by persons with mental health difficulties.” If you’re dressed as a ninja and brandishing a sword, there must be something wrong. The police haven’t said what brought on Bernardez and Griffin’s fight.
When Larry Griffin confronted Bernard in the A/C subway station on the platform near Chambers St. and Warren St. on Tuesday, Bernard disguised himself as a ninja and struck Griffin with what appeared to be a samurai sword, according to the police. Due to the proximity of the railway stations to the Federal Reserve Bank, police initially suspected that the rice cookers were pressure bombs.
They proved to be relatively safe, though. Griffin admitted guilt and did time for planting a hoax bomb. Parole has granted him freedom.
According to the police, Bernard has been arrested for multiple crimes, including strangulation, burglary, assault, and fare evasion.