Heroes Amid Mayhem

Yesterday’s sudden, senseless stabbing in a local parking lot stunned Westporters.

Just after 1 p.m., 18-year-old Ellis Tibere of Guilford opened the door of a car parked at 1137 Post Road East — New Beauty & Wellness Spa, the former site of Geiger’s Garden Center.

1137 Post Road East

Wearing a mask and wielding a knife, he stabbed a 33-year-old Greenwich woman — who he apparently did not know — multiple times. She attempted to fight back. As of last night, she was in serious but stable condition at Norwalk Hospital.

Tibere was listed as a junior at Guilford High School last year– on both the honor roll and lacrosse team.

It was a vicious, random attack. But in this frightening story, there are true heroes.

Ellis Tibere (Photo courtesy of Westport Police)

A bystander — a man who did not know either the assailant or the victim, and who has asked not to be identified — saw what was happening.

He yelled at Tibere, who apparently stopped what he was doing, and came after the man instead. Then he turned and fled.

Emergency personnel were on the scene quickly. They provided aid to the victim — and police quickly set up a perimeter.

An officer saw Tibere’s vehicle on the Sherwood Island Connector, headed toward I-95. The officer signaled him to stop. Tibere did, and was “compliant” when questioned. He had a knife and mask in his possession, and confessed to his involvement in the attack.

He has been charged with criminal attempt at murder, assault first degree and possession of a deadly weapon. He is being held on $1 million bond.

It was a scary scene, not often seen here. Thanks to the quick actions of a bystander, and the lightning speed and professionalism of the Westport Police Department, it was not even worse.

32 responses to “Heroes Amid Mayhem

  1. Holy shit!

  2. Debbie Hoult

    Under photo should be NOT who did NOT know….


  3. Adam Vengrow

    Pray that this woman heals 100% away from the mental trauma that lasts forever. Great job to the bystander that got in the mix and the police in our town. Everybody needs to realize that this little bubble we all enjoy doesnt mean we need less of a police force. It is a bubble because we have an awesome police force. They are quick to respond and always there for any and all situations quickly. We live between 2 major cities, stamford and bridgeport and with drug trafficking and a bulls eye on the affluent in a challenging economy, we need all the help we can get preventing and attending to situations like this. Dan has written how bad the post road fills when worst traffic in the country on 95 sends all cars thru westport’s post road. Everybody passes through and our cops are up and down thru the day and night watching for things. This horrendous obviously sick 18yr old could have been just passing through. Hope she recovers quickly, prayers for this woman, the guy that helped, the team at New Beauty Wellness and the Westport Blue.

  4. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70 BA MA JDE

    Tibere has more than a few screws loose and it would be wise to find out what they are. Psychologists study individuals and sociologists study society. Both of which are Seriously ill in our world today. We have to find out why and we have to figure out how to treat it. I pray that the victim’s wounds aren’t permanently disfiguring or disabling.

  5. Adam Vengrow

    Supposedly, this kid has had urges to kill someone since he was 10 years old. He googled small towns in Connecticut and Westport came up. He broke into two homes hoping to find someone home and kill them and torture them and then luckily no one was home. He then googled spas because he knew women hung out there and our spa came up and he waited in the parking lot for that woman. During the police interview he supposedly had no remorse whatsoever like a Ted Bundy
    He had a full ride to Georgetown

    Lock your homes and cars and use your alarms. Lot of crazies out there.

    • How do you know all that?

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70 BA MA JDE

        I just googled him. Lots of info. Apparently this was also a “botched robbery attempt.” But what’s really scary is the amount of positive info on him prior to this. Honor student for years. Top athlete. Active in religion/temple. Full ride to Georgetown. Some work HAS to be done to better understand his background especially his family life. We read a lot about “predictive analytics” being used with much effectiveness to target likely consumers. I would think this technology could be redeployed toward identification of potentially violent behavior. It’s scary to think of this oversight being deployed by the government but if it could effectively prevent these attacks, well…..

  6. Susan Woog Wagner

    OMG.. Very scary.. This kid was an honor student going to Georgetown????

  7. Crazy story. Excellent job WPD. Hopefully the victim makes a full recovery. And may this be a reminder to all to keep their heads on a swivel.

    • and excellent job to the bystander that likely thwarted additional injury and relayed the description to the WPD that led to the suspect’s capture!

  8. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70 BA MA JDE

    We talk about tracking potential sickos on social media but social media/technology itself may be contributory. I can’t think of any outlet for social interaction that isn’t under assault. When most of us were younger we had school, group activities such as YMCA, scouting, church/temple groups all of which tended to instill a sense of group. On top of that, reality TV and the current political climate makes bizarre behavior seem normal especially if you’ve been raised on it.

  9. I’d like to know if he was on Prescribed medications or on illegal drugs. Many people become psychotic on psychtropics.


    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70 BA MA JDE

      I agree but HIPA laws are going to need to be updated. IMO most drug induced problems psychosis is a consequence of an original dysfunction. I think we have to focus on behavior well before illegal and or self medication is involved. I’m not a shrink so it’s just thoughts.

  10. Kristan Hamlin

    The unnamed man who put his life on the line –even though he was apparently unarmed — and distracted Tibere to make him run after him to save the victim — is a true hero. This allowed the victim to get away and survive.
    The detailed identifying info provided by by bystander to the police ensured Tibere was quickly apprehended. This unnamed man deserves our community’s thanks. His selflessness and bravery saved this woman’s life.

    I do not know why he wishes to remain anonymous, but he has the heartfelt thanks of our community.

  11. Frannie Southworth

    The whole situation is very sad. I am grateful to the bystander and our police department for their swift action. And I pray the woman who was attacked and traumatized recovers fully.
    As far as this troubled young man who did this goes, I tend to agree with Leigh Gage, who I don’t know. I would almost bet that this young man was on mental health medication. I know that sometimes they are necessary, but too many times I think they are given out too freely when they can cause suicidal as well as homicidal thoughts and actions. I’ve heard of too many young people who killed themselves who I later found out were on prescribed medications.
    So I’m guessing since he was an honor student on his was to Georgetown, that this kid probably had depression or other troubles just as many teenage kids do, and the parents thought they were doing the best thing by putting him on meds. We’ll see as we hear more details from authorities. I am praying for the woman who was hurt and traumatized, and also for the family of this kid.
    Random acts of violence are so terribly frightening. I have lived here for over 30 years and don’t remember a random incident like this, and I hope we never have one again.

  12. I’m not a psychiatrist, but this kid sounds to me like a classic high-functioning sociopath. And from everything I’ve read, such people are virtually impossible to treat and not even all that easy to identify until they’re caught in a criminal act. I therefore think we need to be wary of plans to screen our young people in hopes of weeding out potentially violent ones. The true sociopaths may well be smart enough to evade such a net, while in the meantime innocent kids may be caught up in it and stigmatized. Kids who are merely troubled can be made dangerous in that manner.

    In my opinion, the best defenses we have against the Ellis Tiberes in our midst were on display in this case. All of us need to watch out for one another and take risks when necessary to defend our neighbors, even those we don’t know. And we need to go on supporting our fine local police department. God bless the gutsy bystander here and the officers who responded so effectively.

    Thankfully the victimized lady is still with us.

  13. Tom Duquette, SHS '75

    This type of incident is so atypical for Westport and therefore doubly shocking. It’s good to know that the woman who was attacked looks like she’ll survive and the suspect is in custody. The good Samaritan who intervened is a brave soul but confronting a knife wielding assailant unarmed isn’t the wisest thing to do and he could just as easily have been another victim. Kudos to the WPD for apprehending this disturbed young man so swiftly.

    I know I’ll get push back on this but I always carry a Taser (a real one, not some flea market piece of junk) and a handgun in my car and have a concealed carry permit just for this type of scenario. I reside now in Texas and am retired military (Army and Air Force) with 31 years on active duty and am an Iraq War Veteran; so have been trained and am comfortable with firearms. I’ve never had to use a weapon against another person and hope not too but we see repeatedly in today’s society that evil people do terrible things- I’d rather be prepared to defend myself and possibly others.

    • Well, sir, Texas is a great place in which to carry a hand gun….perhaps here, not so much needed.
      An FBI agent told me 20 yrs. ago, that the gun I carried was far more likely to get me in trouble than it was to protect me from trouble….if you’ve got, he said, your’re gonna’ use it…and probably in the wrong situation.
      I’ve not carried since, nor had cause to regret it.

    • I don’t think it’s legal to carry a Taser in CT unless you are a cop or on duty security guard. As for a handgun it’s better to have it on your person then in a car (where it is more likely to get stolen).

    • Adam Vengrow

      Amen brotha

    • Mr, Duquette, I don’t think we should characterize the bystander’s behavior here as lacking in wisdom, as you have suggested, even though he indeed could have become a victim himself because of it. I’d rather call this personal courage, and in fact greater courage than would have been on display had he been armed. Furthermore, it worked – the victimized woman is still alive and the suspect in custody.

      I applaud your own military service, and support your Second Amendment rights. However, I think we need to give courageous non-violence its due, especially when it gets the job done.

  14. LOL

  15. Juliana Sloane Fulbright

    Please throw the book at him…No excuses and no Georgetown U for him!! And I hope the lady recovers!! What a terrible thing to happen.

  16. Kevin McCaul

    This stabbing suspect looks oddly similar to that Orange CT kid who killed a girl after refusing to go to a prom with him.

  17. Ivan Fernandez

    As a parent with a school age child here in town, here’s a question that a few of us parents are wondering about … why wasn’t the nearest school locked down? Standard procedure in many towns and many cities is to lock down the schools when there’s an ongoing threat. We need to learn from this situation and see what we can improve. And this seems like an area that definitely needs improvement.

    • Mr. Fernandez – I’m not sure what the ongoing threat was in this case. From the sound of it, this kid was apprehended pretty quickly and hardly represented any further threat to our kids. Needless lockdowns spread panic without much positive contribution to school safety. Furthermore, he was from Guilford – are you suggesting we should have locked down all the schools in Southern Connecticut?

      • Ivan Fernandez

        Mr Bachmann,

        I respectfully disagree with what you might consider as needless.

        GF elementary was within spitting distance. The lack of awareness to our schools during this immediate threat was very concerning (and continues to be very concerning to many of us with young kids in our local schools).

        The facts that were known at the time were the following: a woman was stabbed in a local parking lot. There was an active scene. The assailant was on the loose. It wasn’t until afterwards that it was determined that the kid was from Guilford.

        With what was known at the time, I would say we need to think through a process where the Westport police immediately notify the local schools in the immediate threat area and, at a minimum, immediately lock the local schools down. Our schools already have the kids practice for “wild animals” (that’s what they call the school shooting and schol threat drills).

        While our police did a great job, there is always room to learn and improve.

        -Mr Fernandez

        • Bob Stalling

          Mr. Fernandez,
          I understand as a parent you are concerned, but this kid was apprehended almost immediately.
          What do you suggest the police should have done differently…shut the schools down after he was apprehended, or before the crime occurred?

  18. Bob Stalling

    Let people ask questions. No need to have an opinion about every question you don’t like.

    • The police responded immediately resulting in an immediate apprehension… so I asked what they should have done differently.
      From what I can tell, they were supposed to Immediately shut down the schools between the immediate response and the immediate capture.
      That’s not an answer IMO…
      I find it strange that asking the question seems to bother you and strange that some imaginary patterns bother you. I also find it sad that the Second Amendment seems to bother you.
      I wish you luck