March 18, 2018
How can a society claiming to be civilized allow homeless Black men of color to be subjected to such terrible anti-hobo microaggressions?
Amy Manucy and her 14-year-old daughter, Susannah, drove down from Mount Pleasant, S.C. to spend Susannah’s spring break with Amy’s sister, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens. Susannah attends boarding school, so the trip gave mother, daughter and aunt a chance to catch up.
But their happy reunion would turn into a night of terror in West Palm Beach, one that nearly killed Manucy and spurred Mayor Jeri Muoio to launch a task force to recommend ways to address homelessness and mental illness in the city and county, where merchants and residents have been pressing for action after years of frustration.
“We were just talking,” said Manucy, a graphic designer in her 50’s. “I don’t think we were sitting there long. Then all of a sudden I felt something hit me from behind. Out of nowhere I just felt this thud.”
It didn’t feel like what you might imagine a stabbing would feel like, she said. “It was more like getting hit in the back of a head with a baseball bat or something like that. I didn’t know what it was.
“My sister looked at me and started screaming, ‘Oh my God, she’s been stabbed, oh my God.’ I stood up and looked around. The odd thing was, I saw this guy, it turned out to be the guy who stabbed me. He just went over there, there were other tables, he pulled a chair out and sat down and watched everything unfold, I guess. My sister was screaming. My daughter was screaming. Everyone was screaming.”
Downtown security guards detained the suspect, Chad Sanjay Bailey, until police arrived. The knife was found on the scene. In an interview at police headquarters, Bailey, 23, confessed to the stabbing. He said he did it because he was “tired of being picked on for being homeless,” the police report said.