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Queens Borough President Recovering From Knife Wound

January 12, 1986

NEW YORK (AP) _ A city official who was stopped for driving erratically and was found to be bleeding heavily from a mysterious cut has been transferred to a coronary care unit, further delaying police questioning to learn how he was injured.

Queens Borough President Donald Manes, who lost about a third of his blood from a slashed wrist and underwent nearly three hours of surgery Friday to reconnect an artery and a nerve, was in stable condition Sunday, officials said.

″We still don’t know what happened,″ said police spokesman Ed Burns.

Authorities said Manes, 51, borough president since 1971, was incoherent when he was found, but there was no evidence of alcohol or drugs.

Manes’ left wrist had a 2-inch, Y-shaped cut that severed the median nerve and ulner artery. A 4-inch paring knife was found at his side on the seat of his car when he was stopped early Friday, and his clothes and the seat were covered with blood.

It was not known whether Manes had been cut with the knife or if the wound was self-inflicted, police said.

Queens District Attorney John J. Santucci said he did not expect to be allowed to talk to Manes until Monday. ″The only person that I know who knows what happened is Donald Manes,″ he said. He added that conflicting stories Manes gave police about what happened could have been a result of trauma.

″I’m cut. I don’t know how I got cut,″ Manes reportedly told police after they stopped his city-owned car.

″The wise way for police and my office to proceed is as though it was a crime. If it turns out it wasn’t, nothing’s lost,″ Santucci said. However, he said Manes had not been robbed.

Dr. Martin Kay, a cardiologist, said Manes was too weak to answer any questions about how he was injured. ″He’s really not conversational in an ordinary sense,″ Kay said. ″He’s pretty sick.″

Even Marlene Manes had not discussed with her husband how he was injured. ″We’re worried about his medical condition. That’s our main concern,″ Mrs. Manes said.

Manes was transferred to the coronary care unit Saturday after his blood pressure had to be stabilized during the night, said Nancy Simington, a spokeswoman at Booth Memorial Medical Center.

She said he was in stable condition but was ″suffering other medical problems.″

Manes also suffered a superficial cut on his left ankle that required six to eight stitches, and he was bruised on his left side.

Manes aide Sam Samuels said that when police stopped the borough president, ″he rolled down the window. They saw he was bleeding. They recognized who he was. They took him to the hospital.″

Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward said police found no evidence of alcohol or drugs.

Samuels said Manes had been taking medication for high blood pressure. Santucci said Manes had a glass or two of wine at a party Thursday night.

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