As reported by ABCNews.com:
Brave Mother Fights off Psychotic Psychiatrist
The Entire Unprovoked Attack Was Caught on Tape
By CHRIS FRANCESCANI and LAURA E. DAVIS
July 26, 2007
Manhattan's famed district attorney's office — the model for "Law & Order" — is fighting to keep a "dangerously mentally ill" psychiatrist locked up, after he admitted to attacking a 2-year-old boy and then choking his terrified mother unconscious, according to a spokeswoman for the district attorney.
The attack was caught by a surveillance camera and prosecutors this week used a PowerPoint presentation of images from the assault to bolster their case.
"We are arguing that [the attacker] is dangerously mentally ill and needs to be in a secure facility," Barbara Thompson, spokeswoman for veteran Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, told ABC News' Law & Justice Unit.
William Johns III, a bipolar Florida psychiatrist who has a history of alcohol problems and violence, admitted in court papers that he drove to New York last summer to escape evil "forces" that he believed were chasing him, Thompson said.
In testimony Wednesday, a friend of the psychiatrist reportedly told a judge that Johns said he had to go to New York to "get out of 'The Truman Show'" — a reference to a 1998 Jim Carrey movie in which the lead character doesn't realize that he's the star of a wildly popular television show and that his friends and neighbors are all actors in the show.
The child's mother, Jil Novenski of Manhattan, testified this week and described how she fought for her life as Johns choked her unconscious.
Novenski told a Manhattan judge that her son Thorin was playing with his plastic bicycle on an afternoon in July 2006, when Johns inexplicably grabbed the child. As Novenski tried to intervene, Johns turned on her.
"I begged, I begged, I begged," Novenski, in tears, testified in a Manhattan courtroom, according to the New York Post. Thompson confirmed the paper's account of the testimony to ABC News Wednesday.
"I screamed, 'Oh God! Please no! I thought for sure he was going to kill me in front of my son," Novenski told the judge. "I wanted to make sure that if I was going to die, he wasn't going to get [Thorin]," Novenski testified. "He squeezed harder and harder, and then everything went black."
Two passers-by pulled Johns off the unconscious mother. Johns pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the spring, acknowledging the attack.
"I tightened my grip on her when the two guys came over because I thought they might try to pull me off of her," Johns admitted, according to court papers reviewed by the Post and confirmed by Thompson.
Wednesday, a lawyer for Johns reportedly told a judge that the psychiatrist had been stable since September and that he should be released or transferred to a nonsecure facility in his home state in Florida. The attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
Johns' family was in court Wednesday, supporting him.
The story can be found at; http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3416296&page=1
Stills of the videotaped attack; http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/popup?i...Index=1&page=1
Side note: A lot of good video cameras did for this woman, just like in the UK.
As well notice as indicated in the pic slideshow that the first passerby who saw the attack going on did not get herself involved to rescue the woman and her child immediately and directly. Instead she went to go get somebody else to help her. Meanwhile in that time the mom is ultimately choked out. Had the attacker chosen to do so he could very easily have simply killed her a number of ways, or then chosen to grab her kid and run off in any number of directions....all before any help might have arrived. Oh, and where was 911? Yep. Nowhere to be found because they are not and cannot be everywhere nor do they simply pop up in an instant as soon as trouble occurs, like people seem to think. Also I bet this woman had a cell phone with her but a lot of good that does when you are attacked without much in the way of warning and find yourself in the thick of hand to hand combat with your attacker(s).