Rushdie event host thought attack was ‘bad prank’
US: The man set to interview Salman Rushdie in New York state moments before the renowned novelist was attacked said on Sunday he initially thought someone was playing a cruel joke, but was jolted to reality when he saw blood.
Henry Reese, president of the non-profit group City of Asylum, was also injured when an attacker invaded a literary event stage on Friday and stabbed Rushdie in the neck and abdomen; he said it took several moments to grasp what was taking place.
“It was very difficult to understand. It looked like a sort of bad prank and it didn’t have any sense of reality,” Reese, 73, told CNN. “Then, when there was blood behind him, it became real.”
Reese, who appeared on the network Sunday with a large bandage over his bruised and swollen right eye, declined to discuss specifics about the attack.
Meanwhile, the father of the man charged with attempting to murder novelist Salman Rushdie has locked himself in at his home in southern Lebanon and is refusing to speak to anyone, Town Mayor Ali Tehfe said on Sunday.
The suspect in Friday’s attack in New York state has been identified by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey. He has pleaded not guilty. Matar is originally Lebanese and his family comes from the south Lebanon town of Yaroun. Tehfe said his parents emigrated to the United States and Matar was born and raised there.
– INDIA TODAY