For the first time in a decade, I’m not in Miami this week for the Art Basel festivities. So far, among what I assume is a mixture of good, bad and mediocre art, I’ve missed torrential rains, flooding and attempted murder at the convention center. A fight escalated to a stabbing inside the Miami Beach Convention Center on Friday night. Detective Kathleen Prieto, from the Miami Beach Police Department, said a woman pulled an X-Acto knife and stabbed another woman in the arms and neck following an altercation. She said;
“The injuries are non life-threatening.”
The victim was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The alleged assailant was arrested at the scene. Both women were attending ABMB and not exhibitors. But the incident caused some confusion among those attending the show. Some people thought the stabbing was performance art while others thought the police tape cordoning an area of the convention center was part of an installation.
The incident occurred in a corridor near an art installation titled The Swamp of Sagittarius, by Miami artist Naomi Fisher. WPLG reporter Liane Morejon posted images of the victim and assailant. Morejon says she has been IDed as 24-year-old Siyuan Zhao of NYC. ABC affiliate Channel 10 reported:
Authorities said the victim confronted Siyuan Zhao about purposely following her around the art show and bumping into her several times. Zhao then stabbed the victim in the right side of the neck and left shoulder without warning or provocation, causing several cuts.
According to the police report, when the attacker was being arrested, she said:
“I had to kill her and two more.
I had to watch her bleed.”
Fitz & Co. president Sara Fitzmaurice released the following statement about the aftermath:
“At 5:20pm a visitor was assaulted by another visitor in the Nova sector of the fair. The attack was an isolated incident that was immediately secured. The suspect was apprehended by police who were at the scene within seconds of the incident. The extensive security provided by the Miami Beach Convention Center is supporting the investigation.
The victim was taken directly to the hospital and according to the Miami Beach Police Department the victim’s injuries are non-life threatening. Our thoughts are with the victim.
NBC’S Channel 6 South Florida reports that Zhao is facing an attempted murder charge. Inside the convention center, security guards and event organizers worked to quickly clean up the scene, and to keep public attention focused on the art and not the stabbing.