Good Samaritan tried to save grandmother fatally stabbed in random daytime attack

Geetha Howie

CBS New York

NEW YORK -- Police have charged a man who they say stabbed a New York City woman to death in a random daytime attack and slashed a good Samaritan who came to her aid.

Police say 27-year-old Dantey Moore stabbed 63-year-old Geetha Howie, of Staten Island, repeatedly in the face and chest during the attack Monday afternoon. Relatives say Howie was walking home from the bank when she was attacked a few minutes away from her residence.

Fifty-six-year-old Mark Long saw the attack and was slashed in the arm while trying to intervene.

"I saw two people on the ground on the corner, and as I got closer, I realized that it was a man stabbing a woman," Long told CBS New York.

Long said he ordered the assailant to stop as Howie screamed and struggled.

"I yelled at him to stop and I shouted out to one of the neighbors, 'call 911,'" said Long. "And we just faced each other and I just tried to talk to him, keep his attention off the woman until police got there."

Long said the assailant didn't say anything to him at first, but eventually made a bizarre statement.

"The only thing he said to me finally was something like 'She was cheating, she cheated with everyone,' and I really didn't understand what that meant," Long said.

Sources told the station the suspect was cradling Howie's body when first responders arrived. Howie was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. She had suffered at least 15 stab wounds, the station reports.

Investigators say they believe Moore didn't know Howie and that the attack was random. Police tell the station Moore has a history of violence and drug use, with 34 prior arrests.

Howie's son-in-law told the station she was adored by her loved ones. Their family had been preparing to travel to Sri Lanka for a relative's wedding, he said.

"She loved her family. We have a 3-year-old daughter, her granddaughter, who she absolutely loved," Daniel Fazzina said. "They were inseparable. This is a senseless tragedy."

Long was treated for his slash wound at the scene.

"I just wish I could have done more than I did," he said.

Moore has been charged with murder and assault. It couldn't be learned from prosecutors if he has a lawyer.