‘Large knife resembling a machete’: NYU dorm stabbing followed argument about COVID-19 protocol

Frantz Arestyl, the NYU employee accused of stabbing his supervisor at the Broome Street dormitory on July 24, has been charged with attempted murder. He was previously named a recipient of NYU’s Service Award for his 15 years as a Public Safety employee.


Frantz Arestyl has been identified as the NYU Public Safety officer accused of stabbing his supervisor at the Broome Street dormitory on July 24. According to the Manhattan District Attorney spokesperson, Arestyl repeatedly stabbed his supervisor after refusing to comply with NYU’s COVID-19 screening protocol. (Staff Photo by Roshni Raj, Staff Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

Suhail Gharaibeh, Deputy News Editor

Police and prosecutors have identified Frantz Arestyl, 38, as the NYU Public Safety officer who stabbed his supervisor six times at NYU’s Broome Street dormitory last month, as WSN previously reported. According to a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney, Arestyl stabbed the supervisor after several arguments sparked by his refusal to comply with NYU’s COVID-19 screening protocol.

The victim — a Public Safety sergeant and Arestyl’s supervisor — remained hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital as of Arestyl’s arraignment on July 25 and was undergoing treatment for six stab wounds to his upper body that potentially required multiple surgeries, according to the district attorney.

“The defendant chased and repeatedly stabbed his supervisor with a large knife resembling a machete after refusing to complete the COVID screening process required by his employer, NYU,” Assistant District Attorney Candace White said at Arestyl’s arraignment. “The attack occurred after the defendant refused to complete the screening process on prior occasions, having been sent home earlier in the week.”

Since classes went remote, NYU has required the use of an online screening tool for entry into campus buildings. According to NYU, the screener is “a key part of the protocols NYU uses to combat the spread of COVID-19.”

Arestyl has been charged on three counts for the stabbing — attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Judge Lisa Headley, who presided over the arraignment, granted Arestyl supervised release until his next appearance at the New York County Supreme Court on Aug. 24.

Surveillance video from the lobby of the Broome Street dormitory shows the victim trying to flee the building as Arestyl stabs him multiple times, according to the complaint filed by the district attorney and White’s statement at the arraignment.

Arestyl, who has no criminal history, previously received NYU’s 2020-2021 Service Award for his 15 years as an employee of the Department of Public Safety. According to NYU’s website, the award “recognizes and honors faculty and employees who have reached important service milestones in their distinguished career with NYU New York.”

NYU spokesperson John Beckman declined to confirm the identity of the suspect or comment on his motivations, instead referring WSN to the New York City Police Department and the Manhattan DA for further information on the case.

Contact Suhail Gharaibeh at [email protected].

Correction Aug. 11: WSN originally stated Arestyl was released on bond, but Judge Headley never set monetary bail. WSN also cannot confirm the victim remains hospitalized due to privacy reasons. The article has been updated and WSN regrets the error.