On July 19, police in Pine Hill, New York, arrested a man after he broke into his neighbor’s house and slashed him in the abdomen with a knife in what the victim is calling a “homophobic panic attack.”

Gay artist Richard Treitner (right) says he had sex with the suspect, Kenneth Fazzina, twice two years ago. But a freaked-out Fazzina later threatened him with violence if he told anyone about their sexual encounter.

Treitner’s home was targeted in an unsolved arson case, he tells The Watershed Post, and Fazzina was the main suspect—but police couldn’t find enough evidence to link him to the crime.

The attack on Thursday could have been much worse, says Treitner, who sent an email describing the incident to the Post:

At first I was afraid, but then because he was drunk and making sexual overtures, I thought he was trying to make up. He said he hadn’t set the fire. Soon after he was finally being led out the door when he asked me for a kiss goodbye. I stupidly leaned close when I felt a pain in my chest and he muttered something vehement under his drunken breath. I looked down to see the knife blade skittering to the floor and him clutching the handle tight in his hands.

Miraculously the blade had snapped clean off leaving only a scratch across my chest. He didn’t realize the knife was broken and went to stab and attack me further. I punched him in the face and because he was drunk I managed to knock him to the ground in the scuffle. He kept trying to get up and attack further so I reached out my hand and grabbed whatever I could touch to defend myself with. After hitting him once I realized I had grabbed the door stop which was a round carved stone, (which the police described as a concrete block but I think it is granite).

I stopped after realizing what it was but held it in threat as I held him down and screamed for help. Luckily some passersby heard and called for help which came some time later with him threatening to kill me when he gets out the next chance he gets.

…I had already lived in fear since the arson attack and had even spent a year deeply depressed and hiding indoors because I felt unsafe in my own home. I was just finally getting over it when this happened.

Fazzina is now in jail on $25,000 bail and facing charges of third-degree assault, second-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Photo: Richard Treitner

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