The Brooklyn man who police said left a trail of violence and death across the city on Friday and Saturday also left a trail, of sorts, on a pager service that notifies news media members of breaking news in New York.
Police say the man, Maksim Gelman, is responsible for three fatal stabbings; a hit-and-run homicide; four other stabbings; four auto thefts, including two carjackings and several death threats.
He was also responsible for dozens of notices and updates on the Breaking News Network pager service, a subscription service that relays transcriptions and summations of police and fire dispatches from New York City and surrounding areas.
The first notice went out at 5:27 a.m. for a homicide in Brooklyn at 2830 East 27th Street, that police were searching for a gray Lexus, and gave the license plate, and called for a “Level 1 mobilization” to search for the fleeing attacker.
The next notice, posted at 5:32 a.m., begins outlining Mr. Gelman’s first stabbing, which police say happened at 5:09 a.m. Friday. Police say Mr. Gelman stabbed his mother’s companion, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, 54, with a kitchen knife numerous times, and sped away in Mr. Kuznetsov’s gray 2004 Lexus.
This second notice described the crime as “One doa at the location,” referring to a dead-on-arrival victim, and added that “PD is looking for a m/w who is about 6 ft tall wearing all blk” — that police were looking for a white man dressed in black.
At 5:35 a.m., the reports note that: “This is now reported to be a family dispute where the son stabbed & killed his father.”
These notices came from the Breaking News Network paging system, a business located in Fort Lee, N.J., where staff members listen to police scanners and put out notices of what they assess as newsworthy items mentioned by dispatchers for various police and fire departments and emergency service agencies.
Soon, hundreds of police officers were hunting for Mr. Gelman, over a 28-hour period that ended with his capture Saturday morning in Times Square. Throughout the day and into the next morning, the notices kept coming, dozens of them, sent out during a stretch in which police said Mr. Gelman left behind a string of killings, assaults and carjackings, until his arrest after stabbing another victim on a subway train.
The paging service sent a notice out at 4:43 p.m. that “1 doa reported” and “a 2nd victim was transported, likely to die.” This would seem to refer to Mr. Gelman’s actions at the house of his former girlfriend, Yelena Bulchenko, 20, on East 24th Street in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Police said he went there in the late morning and stabbed and killed her mother, Anna Bulchenko. He waited until Yelena Bulchenko returned home at 4:15 p.m. and then stabbed her to death.
At 4:34 p.m., another alert went out with the notice that, at the same location “A ‘95 bonneville fled the scene” and the Police Department’s Aviation Unit was called in for a “perp search.”
Robert Gessman and Israel Goldstein, who run the pager service, said they had roughly a dozen staffers, in all, monitoring the airways, at various times, for news of Mr. Gelman, listening to transmissions among police, ambulance and transit personnel.
“This seemed to be one of the more prominent cases we’ve ever had,” Mr. Gessman said. “I don’t know if we’ve had something like this before, where you’ve had that many broadcasts on a single suspect. For one thing, the police were focused on apprehending him because he was so dangerous.”
At 5:21 p.m., a notice went out regarding the two men that Mr. Gelman stabbed after the attack on the women, according to police.
The notice said that a man – “the same perp who stabbed and killed his stepfather on E. 27th st in Brooklyn earlier this A.M.” – “carjacked an auto and also stabbed that victim.”
The notice reported “1 doa” at Avenue U and East 24th Street, and also a “2nd stabbing victim was transported, likely to die.”
A notice that went out at 6:33 p.m. referred to a location on Avenue R, that “Perp possibly seen in the area, requesting a grid search setup at this time,” with the police canine unit and aviation unit.
A 6:56 p.m. search mentions there is “Still an active perp search at Ave R and East 17 St. Perp believed to possibly be in the rear yards.”
Throughout the night, a string of notices lay out a series of carjackings and getaway cars taken and abandoned. One of them describes Mr. Gelman as “the perpetrator wanted for the earlier multi-murder/carjacking/pedestrian-striking mayhem.”
A notice from 1:40 a.m. said the “23 year old w/m who is also wanted for a triple homicide yesterday in Brooklyn” is “armed with a handgun.”
A barrage of messages gave updates every few minutes near the time of Mr. Gelman’s capture. Around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Mr. Gelman, who had been wandering subway tracks for several hours, climbed up from the tracks onto a northbound No. 3 train and stabbed a male passenger as the train pulled out of Pennsylvania Station and rolled north. The train was stopped as it approached the Times Square station.
At 9:08 a.m., an alert went out announcing “1 perp under” — police parlance referring to the arrest of one person. The notice said it was the “possible perp wanted for multiple stabbing.”
A notice from 9:15 a.m. said an ambulance was being called to the scene for a “40 y/o heavy bleeder from the neck,” a reference to the man police say Mr. Gelman had stabbed on the train.
Another alert, from 9:24 a.m., said that the police had “1 perp in custody, train being held as a crime scene.”
At 9:27 a.m., the notice announced that the “perp in custody is gelman maksim wanted for a triple homicide in Brooklyn.”
A final notice at 9:42 a.m. said Mr. Gelman was being taken to the Midtown South precinct house and that a city bus was required to “transport witnesses.”