By Keith Shikowitz
On the eve of the one year anniversary of the murder at the 7-11 in Garnerville on Central Highway, at approximately 2 p.m. according to Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh, 52-year-old security guard Sandra Wilson was stabbed by 25-year-old Blanchard Glaudin on the third floor of the Finkelstein Library in Spring Valley. At approximately 3:45 p.m. Walsh stated that the guard had passed away. He had no further comment at that time.
The incident came as a complete surprise to all who were on the third floor. Luis Velasquez, very shaken up by the incident, through a translator explained what happened. “The man attacked the security guard. Only the security guard. He was not in conflict with any other person.”
Velasquez was on a computer minding his own business when everything happened. “It happened very fast. I saw the knife in front of me. The man didn’t say anything. He just ran and many people held him against the door until the police came to arrest him.”
He has no idea why this happened. His general reaction to this was, “It was very bad. I though this was a safe place. I didn’t think anything like this would ever happen.”
Joe Knop was on the third floor at the time of the incident. “I did not see the actual stabbing. I was on the other part of the room. The commotion was on the left side of the room. Within seconds the commotion shifted to the right side of the room.”
He later learned that there were two sides to the commotion. The left side is where the victim still laid on the floor and the right side, they tackled him to the ground. “Which part I did not see the tackling. I went over to the left side of the room and tried assisting the victim. I am not a trained professional, but I did have some training in first aid.”
At first Knop was observing and according to him, the victim was passed out. “All of the sudden I noticed a big gush of blood from the left side of the neck and shoulder area. I started yelling, someone should give me a piece of clothing. Some people took off their shirts and I applied pressure to the area.” He later noticed an additional stab wound, but no blood was coming out. “It was the lower, I believe left abdomen. We called Hatzolah. They were there within moments. When they arrived, they checked for a pulse. There was none.
While he was still there, he believed Wilson was still breathing. “This is how it appeared to me, otherwise I would have started CPR. They started CPR. I went to wash off my hands. They were covered in blood. I did not see the rest of the part.” He noticed later that the knife was still on the right side of the room and that the police were securing the knife. “It was still there on the floor. I didn’t see them hold him down. I heard they held him, kicked the knife away. They held him until the police took him.”
When someone is accused of committing a crime, our legal system has a number of tiers that must be climbed. The first, after the arrest is the arraignment. This is where the accused enters a plea to the charges against him/her. By 7 p.m. February 18, Glaudin was in front of Spring Valley Justice,
Djinsad Desir to answer the charges. His Attorney Victor Daly – Rivera waited for him to be brought into the courtroom.
Glaudin was walked in by police who were stationed on the side by the jury box and behind him. Prior to his being led into the courtroom, police asked some people to leave the room. It seemed they were taking precautions to avoid any conflict in the court.
Daly–Rivera waived the reading of the charges and entered a plea of not guilty. Desir asked the prosecutor if he would like to be heard on the matter. He stated, Yes, Your Honor. Based on the charge of Murder in the second degree, the defendant is subject to automatic remand.
Daly–Rivera didn’t object. Desir explained, “Yes, that’s correct. Since the defendant is charged with Murder in the second degree, this court is constrained to remand the defendant to the custody of the Rockland County Jail. Preliminary hearing to be held on Monday February 24, at 9 a.m.”
The prosecutor also served a grand jury notice to the defendant and the court.
After the arraignment, Spring Valley Trustee Eudson Tyson Francois spoke with the press. “My relationship with this wonderful woman was like it is with everyone in this community. What an amazing woman. Phenomenal as a matter of fact. We were just in the library last week talking about things we wanted to do in the near future. She also represented the East Ramapo School District. This is such an emotional moment for everyone. There is not much I can really say except that we are all in mourning for a wonderful human being. wonderful human being.”
Francois was asked what his reaction was to this happening in the library. He had trouble responding. The emotions of the day obviously catching up to him. “I mean I’m angry at what took place. It shouldn’t happen to anyone of course. It shouldn’t have happened. Whether it’s the library, or here. She was doing her job. That’s how it happened. I don’t know what led to this, but, I just want to mourn with the family at this time. My prayers are with the entire family. I also want to recognize the finest police department for just being in the scene right on time and doing their due diligence of course.”
Teressa King a resident, was walking towards the library and asked what was going on. When she was told what had happened her jaw went agape. This event has made her question the safety of living in Rockland. Her initial reaction was, “Is it ever going to be a safe environment or a safe county for anyone to live in.” She has three children, ages 2, 5 and 7, whose safety she worries about.
“I’m thinking about trying to find something better, safer environment, cheaper environment.” Although she admitted that she had no idea what area would be safer. “This is the fifth death or stabbing.” Upon reflection she felt that moving would not necessarily be safer. “Rockland County is a known quantity.”
As much as she wants safety for her and her children, she can’t come up with a way to achieve it. She concluded, “Anywhere you go you’re going to find things like this.”
The Finkelstein Library will be closed today February 19, 2020.
Glaudin reportedly suffered from mental health challenges. A Youtube page titled Blanchard Glaudin that appears to belong to the defendant details his struggles with demonic spirits and feelings of being persecuted by “Satanists.”