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Man Charged In Chelsea Slashing Attack Now Linked To 4th Incident

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man accused of slashing a woman in an apparently random attack in Chelsea this week has been linked to another incident, bringing the total number of cases in which he's suspected to four.

Kari Bazemore, 41, of the Bronx is charged with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the most recent attack, which occurred around 5:50 a.m. Wednesday on 23rd Street at Seventh Avenue in Chelsea. He is still awaiting arraignment pending completion of a mental health evaluation.

In surveillance video, police said Bazemore is seen walking alongside the victim when, unprovoked, he slashes her in the face and takes off. The victim -- Amanda Morris, 24 -- who was on her way to work, was left with two visible gashes on her face that required stitches.

Bazemore has a lengthy rap sheet, with 32 prior arrests for a variety of crimes, according to police.

On Friday police charged Bazemore in connection with another attack in Midtown that occurred last November, CBS2's Sonia Rincon reported.

In that incident, a 43-year-old woman was waiting to cross the street at Fifth Avenue and West 55th Street when police said Bazemore hit her in the face with a large shopping bag containing a heavy object.

He was wearing the same clothes as in the most recent attack, police said. The victim had taken a picture of her attacker and recognized him in the video of the attack in Chelsea, Rincon reported.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce had said Bazemore was also identified in a New Year's Day attack in the Bronx.

"He took a razor blade and cut another young lady's face near Bruckner Boulevard," Boyce said earlier this week. He has not been charged in that incident.

Bazemore is also suspected of punching a woman on West 12th Street and Sixth Avenue in a random attack on Dec. 30. Officials said he was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor in that incident, but was later released.

Chelsea attack victim Morris wonders why he was free to roam the streets.

"Apparently he had 32 offenses before this; 32, which is ridiculous," she said.

In fact, court documents from the Dec. 30 attack show it was recommended that Bazemore not be released on his own recognizance, Rincon reported. In the points system that is used to determine recommendation for release, he scored negative six out of 10, in part because he has no phone and has prior arrests.

Bazemore was determined to be a high flight risk, but in the end Judge Laurie Peterson set no bail and he was released on his own recognizance, only to allegedly attack Morris a few days later, Rincon reported.

Bazemore listed his home at an address on Valentine Avenue in the Bronx, where his sister lives.

Bazemore's sister told the Daily News he suffers from Schizophrenia and gets into trouble when he stops taking his medication.

"If he has this on record, he shouldn't be on the streets at all," said Morris. "He's clearly not stable."

Bazemore is currently being held at Bellevue Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.

As for why the judge released Bazemore, CBS2 was told judges can't comment on pending cases.

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