After Salman Rushdie was stabbed on stage at a literary festival in upstate New York while police officers guarding the event looked on, he was taken off a respirator and is now joking, a day after being stabbed on stage. A doctor who witnessed Rushdie’s stabbing said the event was guarded by two police officers.
Despite their presence, the attacker managed to run onto the stage and stab the author several times. Suspected Hezbollah sympathizer Hadi Matar, 24, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault. The prosecution described the brutal attack on stage as a “planned” crime.
Salman Rushdie was freed from a ventilator and able to speak Saturday, a day after he was stabbed multiple times as he prepared to give a lecture.
A judge ordered the attacker held without bail.
Hadi Matar, the man accused of assaulting a man at the Chautauqua Institution, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault.
A doctor who witnessed the stabbing of Salman Rushdie at an event in western New York said the crowd eventually subdued the attacker and that a police officer and another sheriff were nearby to provide security.
Hadi Matar, 24, pleaded not guilty and was remanded without bail
On Wednesday, a man attacked writer Salman Rushdie at a Chautauqua Institution event. The suspect had traveled to the region by bus at least a day before the incident and had purchased a ticket to the event.
Rushdie was attacked in an amphitheater whose stage was accessible from three sides. The doctor said the bleeding was severe and probably did not hit the carotid artery.
One doctor said Matar could move very quickly and it was easy for him to attack.
Matar joined a gym in April and participated in 27 group workouts, but canceled his membership a few days ago.
The gym’s owner, Desmond Boyle, said he saw “nothing violent” about Matar, who always looked “tremendously sad” and resisted attempts to greet and approach him.
Dr. Haskell described Rushdie’s injuries as bleeding from his jugular vein and severed nerves in one arm and one eye. Rushdie would likely lose his injured eye, was placed on a ventilator and could not speak.
At Chautauqua Institution, there was great shock and disbelief, but no panic. People were asked to leave the institution in an orderly fashion.
On Saturday, Matar pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault in what the prosecutor called a “planned” crime. He was held without bail after authorities said he intentionally put himself in a position to harm Rushdie.
Matar was born in the United States to parents who had emigrated from Yaroun in southern Lebanon, but the village mayor said he was unaware of Matar’s attack.
Matar was described as a loner who had few social contacts and lived with his mother and two sisters in a single-family home in Fairview, New Jersey.