Arrest made in bus stop double stabbing

March 4, 2008 8:46:52 PM PST
A stabbing at a bus stop has raised questions because the suspect has a history of violence and mental illness.

An 87-year-old man from remained in critical condition at Temple Hospital with a stab wound to the abdomen.

The other victim, a 50-year-old woman stabbed in the back and shoulder, was treated and released.

The suspect is 53-year-old James Suber, a seemingly pleasant guy except, his family says, he is a paranoid schizophrenic. They feared it was a matter of time before he would hurt someone again.

"I'm very sorry for the people that got hurt. I'm very sorry that had to happen," said Suber's sister.

At 10:30 this morning in the 2900 block of Cecil B. Moore, witnesses say it happened suddenly and unexpectedly.

"A crazy man just came up and stabbed a man in the stomach and a woman in her back," said one witness.

Police say Suber suddenly produced a steak knife when he confronted the two people who were simply waiting for a SEPTA bus.

"He told her, 'Don't look at me!' and then when she tried to move he said, 'I'm gonna stab you!' and he stabbed her in the back. He also stabbed the elderly male," said Lt. James Farmbry.

Police say there was no rhyme or reason for the attack. He didn't even know the victims. Court records show the suspect had been in and out of jail for similar assaults on others for decades.

"He has been in and out of the system, 302's, all of that," his sister said.

We asked officials at the city's Department of Behavorial Health about it.

"Usually, it's the psychiatrist who decides whether or not a person is stable enough to return back to the community and usually they're recommending out patient treatment and usually the person continuing their medication," said Carolyn Uber.

But Suber's family believes he should have never been let out and should have been committed for the long term.

"That's what we've been wanting, but they would never give it to him. We've been want His family only hopes this time he will be committed to a mental health program for a very long time.