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‘Traumatized’ tourist stabbed in Times Square will never return to city, husband says (EXCLUSIVE)


A tourist exploring Times Square with her daughter was visiting the city for the first time when a man with an extensive criminal history knifed her in the chest in a terrifying caught-on-camera attack.

“She is completely traumatized,” the victim’s husband, John Lohr, exclusively told the Daily News on Monday. “We never want to go back to NYC ever again.”

Amber Lohr, 36, and her teen daughter were visiting from western Pennsylvania and shopping for a souvenir to bring back home as they neared the corner of W. 43rd St. and Eighth Ave. just before 6:15 p.m. Saturday.

As Lohr and her daughter approached the Port Gourmet Deli, 61-year-old Cyril Destin sat on a walker outside the entrance, cops said.

Destin, 61, pulled his left hand out of the inner breast pocket of his jacket and abruptly stood up, surveillance footage shows.

With a sharp object in his hand, he lunged toward Lohr, who immediately began stumbling backwards.

Surveillance footage captured the moment a tourist was stabbed in a random attack along W. 43rd St. and Eighth Ave. on Saturday, May 11, 2024.
Surveillance footage captured the moment Lohr was stabbed in a random attack along W. 43rd St. and Eighth Ave. on Saturday.

Lohr, her daughter and another women quickly backed away as Destin sat back down on the walker and appeared to take a drag of a cigarette.

The victim’s daughter, a nursing student, immediately administered emergency care.

“She handled it like a champ,” John Lohr said of his daughter. “Her instincts just kicked in. She took control of the whole situation.”

Medics rushed the wounded woman to Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated for a stab wound to her chest.

“My daughter called me,” the father recalled. “I was in Pennsylvania. She calls me and said, ‘Mommy’s been stabbed!’”

Lohr raced to the city and took his family home, where his wife is recovering.

“She wanted to get the hell out of that place,” the man said. “It changed our life and our child’s life forever.”

The couple has five children together.

Surveillance footage captured the moment a tourist was stabbed in a random attack along W. 43rd St. and Eighth Ave. on Saturday, May 11, 2024.
Surveillance footage captured the moment Lohr was stabbed in the brutal attack.

Police quickly arrested Destin in the attack and charged him with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

His most recent address is the the former Times Square Hotel, which now serves as affordable housing for low-income, formerly homeless adults and people suffering with serious mental illness, among others, according to nonprofit social services organization Breaking Ground.

The massive building is the “largest supportive residence in the country,” with 652 apartments.

A woman working at the deli Monday said Destin regularly stopped in for cigarettes, never causing any trouble in the past.

Destin has numerous prior arrests, including for criminal mischief and menacing, and is known to the police department as “emotionally disturbed,” sources said.

“I don’t know why he’s out on the streets,” said John Lohr. “This is New York City. Where the towers fell, where the Statue of Liberty is. It’s a big place for tourists. I don’t understand why this guy is running around.

“I hope the guy rots in hell for what he did,” he added. “I hope they bring attempted murder charges against him.”

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