Thursday, August 12, 2010

Suspected Serial Stabber in Custody

Elias Abuelazam [33], an Israeli citizen who is in the U.S. legally, was arrested today in connection with upwards of 20 stabbings across three states (5 fatalities). Abuelazam was arrested at about 10 p.m., last night by U.S. Customs Boarder Protection Agents at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport while trying to board Delta Air Lines flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. His arrest is in connection with a July 27th stabbing, and police say that there are still many issues that need to be addressed before identifying this individual as the person responsible for this horrific crime spree.

Police had focused their hunt on Flint—where 17 stabbings took place—until Leesburg police reported three attacks. Authorities in Toledo, Ohio, say a stabbing in that city Saturday appears to be linked to the violent spree. The suspect has been linked to a dark green Chevy S-10 Blazer with tan trim, with a model year ranging from 1995 to about 2000. The FBI is assisting Leesburg police, the lead agency investigating.

Based on over 500 tips police received—the most useful tip came in just after midnight Wednesday—police learned the suspect worked at the Kingwater party store in Beecher, located north of Flint. Officers checked surveillance video from the store to confirm the suspect previously worked at that store.

The serial stabber approaches black men late at night on lonely urban roads and asks for directions or help with a broken-down car. Then, without warning, he pulls out a knife and strikes. Then, he speeds away in his vehicle, leaving his victims for dead. Obviously this M.O. leaves police to believe that the crimes are racially motivated. The youngest victim was 15; the oldest was 67. They ranged in size from 5-foot-4 inches and 120 pounds to 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds.

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