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Middletown Residents See Stabbing As Mental Health Issue

The stabbing of a 29 year old Keansburg woman in a Middletown Bed Bath and Beyond is a shock to the Monmouth County community, and many of it’s residents are facing mixed reaction ranging from disbelief to acceptance.

Tyrik S. Haynes
Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Decker reads the charges to Tyrik S. Haynes, 19, of Middletown, in State Superior Court in Freehold (Thomas P. Costello, Asbury Park Press/pool photo)

A Township resident, 19 year old man, Tyrik Haynes, was arrested and charged with the Thursday afternoon attack which has the victim in critical but stable condition. Though Middletown is the largest municipality in Monmouth County, the mostly middle class Township has rarely seen such a heinous attach.

For many of the residents who returned to the same Bed Bath and Beyond store the following day, the incident is not going to affect their daily routine.

“This is just a random thing, this kind of stuff doesn’t happen around here. I feel safe”  commented one female resident shopping with her child. Another man who wasn’t a resident to the Township noted he would not let fear from one attack run his life. “Should I sit in my house for the rest of my life?”

Bed Bath & Beyond in Middletown
Bed Bath & Beyond in Middletown (WABC TV)

Haynes faced charges of animal cruelty in December when police responded to reports he was setting a cat on fire near his home. The case was widely publicized in the Township and residents fear the there could have been warning signs to the attack.


Days after President Obama authorized sweeping federal gun control laws, the violent acts puts the issue of weapons on the forefront. However, resident’s believe this isn’t an issue of the weapons, but rather mental health. “I am being facetious, should we start regulating knives now?” noted a shopper in the plaza, adding “It is what it is, and it’s definitely not a weapons issue because you’re going to take a knife, no matter where it’s from or how big it is, you plunge it into the flesh of a human being. There’s a problem.”

A nearby Atlantic Highlands resident shopping in the plaza noted the importance of addressing what he believed to be the primary issue, mental health. “Mental health is a serious problem. I think the government is starting to address those things post Sandy Hook Elementary School, it’s going to need a lot more attention.”

Haynes is charged with once count of first degree attempted murder, third degree endangering the welfare of a child, third degree possession of a deadly weapon for an unlawful purpose and fourth degree unlawful possession of a weapon.

Bail has been set at $1,050,000 by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully, without a 10% option.

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