Manhattan, NY – A slasher slit the throat of a 25-year-old soccer coach near Union Square. The fatal stabbing included both a severed ear and a slashed torso. Michael Jones, a part-time Red Bulls’ youth training program coach ,was in front of the Levi’s store early Sunday morning when he was attacked and left to bleed to death on the sidewalk.
Jones, an Englishman who lived in Westchester County, was allegedly arguing with a man around 4:30 am, before he was slashed in the neck and torso, the New York Daily News reports. The victim was reportedly out on a date with his girlfriend until around midnight, when the couple went their separate ways.
Craig Hutchinson, a friend and fellow coach, had this to say about the victim:
“He was greatly loved and respected by everyone, the parents, the players, his colleagues. He was happy, enthusiastic, and upbeat. I’m completely shocked and devastated by all of this.”
Michael Jones and Hutchinson had planned to meet up in Manhattan on Saturday evening, and had texted one another throughout the night, but their paths did not cross, according to CBS New York. Jones’ immediate relatives still reside in Liverpool. His roommate, Karl Hogan, also noted what a quality individual and coach the slashing victim was, and the great sense of loss he and others were feeling.
A video showed the Red Bulls soccer coach walking along with his assailant prior to the attack, according to police reports. The pair appeared to get into a verbal altercation before the violent slashing attack occurred. Just a few seconds after Michael Jones fell to the pavement, a shocked passerby alerted a nearby firefighter to the incident.
The youth soccer coach had spent the day with his team on Saturday. The players were reportedly looking forward to practice again on Sunday, but their beloved and energetic mentor never arrived at the field.
New York City police officers released a segment of the slashing attack surveillance video showing the individual they believe to be the suspect.