A Bad Weekend: Two Die in Absurd ‘Staredown’ Stabbings

In August, New York described a terrible new tendency in street crime: lightning-fast, violent flare-ups over nothing. "[Crime]'s dropped dramatically," a Brooklyn homicide detective told writer Jessica Lustig. "But the violence is still there. More and more, it's the dispute for ridiculous reasons." The cops have a name for this kind of conflagration, Lustig reported: It's a "staredown." And this was a bad weekend for staredowns.

Very early Saturday morning — you might still call it Friday night — two brothers, Noel and Shannon Gibbons, were waiting for a falafel at the popular kiosk on Sixth Avenue and 53rd Street. A man named Ziad Tayeh accused them of cutting in line; they ignored him. In response, Tayeh proceeded to tail them in his car and, when they pulled over, stabbed Noel in the back. Later on Saturday, this time at midday, a group of twelve Long Island teenagers charged a house in a dispute over a missing cell phone. One of the attackers, 18-year-old Daniel Dykeman, was killed when his throat was slashed; another, 22-year-old Jonathan Gude, was also slashed but is still alive.

Lustig's August piece linked the rise of these near-random killings to the easy availability of guns in New York, and the cops she spoke to said the same thing. But here's the most unsettling thing about this weekend's hair-trigger murders: Both were done with knives.

Falafel Slay Stuns Kin [NYDN]
Long Island Teen Killed In Dispute Over Cell Phone [AP via NYDN]
An Ordinary Murder [NYM]