Mom got stuck cleaning up bloody mess after brutal NYCHA cut

A Brooklyn mother was left with a mop in hand as the city was slow to clean up the bloody aftermath of a gruesome slash-and-burn attack on her building earlier this month.

Shaquana Applewhite awoke to a scene from The Shining on the morning of August 17 when blood covered four floors, the stairwells and the lobby of NYCHA’s Bushwick Houses.

A 34-year-old man was slashed on the 14th floor around 1 a.m. and ran through the building at 24 Humboldt St. in search of help, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

When Applewhite got home from work on Friday afternoon, the chaos was still there.

“I said, ‘I can’t leave this like this.’ So I took out the bleach, grabbed the mop and cleaned my floor,” Applewhite, 32, told The Post.

Shaquana Applewhite stands in her hallway at Bushwick Houses, unnerved.
Shaquana Applewhite cleaned up the horrific mess left behind after a man bled inside her building last week.
Helayne Seidman

Blood spatter throughout the stairwell entrance of Bushwick Houses.
After a laceration last week, blood was spilled on four floors of the Bushwick House and into the lobby.
Courtesy of Shaquana Applewhite

“I just did my best to do what I had to do for my kids,” said the mother of an 8-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy.

Applewhite bought cleaning supplies for this task, which took two hours because the blood had to be soaked to be removed. She had to throw away the clothes and shoes she was wearing.

“That’s sad… that’s just inhuman,” she said in a video posted to TikTok.

Blood runs over an elevator button at Bushwick Houses.
Blood covered the elevator and stairwells on several floors of the NYCHA building at 24 Humboldt Street.
Helayne Seidman

Dwane Simmons, janitor at NYCHA building.
Dwane Simmons is a janitor at the New York City Housing Authority.
Helayne Seidman

A janitor also began cleaning the blood the same day, said Dwane Simmons, a janitor at NYCHA, but was told to stop and wait for a professional team.

Simmons said Alpha Medical Waste Removal had been notified but would have to wait for police to complete the investigation.

“I’m not sure if they work weekends, so they didn’t come. Then Monday morning came and I called her again to find out what was going on,” Simmons said.

Four days later, the clean-up team finally arrived.

One of the nine NYCHA Bushwick Houses, 24 Humboldt Street.
Crime at the Bushwick Houses NYCHA complex has increased by 29% this year compared to 2022.
Helayne Seidman

NYCHA referred any questions about how to handle the crime scene to the NYPD, which simply said the investigation was ongoing.

Meanwhile, the professionals did a poor job, leaving blood splatters on the walls of hallways and stairwells, The Post noted last week.

Applewhite said she wasn’t surprised by the recent scare as she had long felt unsafe in the “deplorable” living conditions at the city-run housing project.

Police enter 24 Humboldt Street, one of the buildings in the NYCHA Bushwick Houses complex.
According to police, overall crime at the Bushwick Houses has increased by 21% this year.
Helayne Seidman

She has been waiting to move to another apartment since April 2022, a process that has been delayed as she struggles with leaks, rats, roaches and cleaning up the crime scene.

According to the NYPD, serious crime at the Bushwick Houses is up nearly 18% this year compared to 2022. Crime has increased by 29% this year and 22 incidents have been reported so far.

Residents said there was another bloodbath in the building just a month ago.

Bloodstained apartment door.
The door to Anel Gonzales’ family home was covered in blood after a resident was slashed open.
Courtesy of Anel Gonzales

“Two or three weeks ago, one of the elevators was covered in blood,” said Anel Gonzales, whose mother-in-law lives on Applewhite’s floor. “No information… We are not told.”

Gonzales returned to the apartment after the injured man fled through the building last week and found blood smeared on the door. She feared that one of her family members was inside.

“I had to open it with my t-shirt,” she said.

NYCHA properties, including the Bushwick Houses, are notorious for their miserable conditions, including mold, broken pipes, lead paint and heater failures, The Post reported last year, and the cost of all necessary repairs at the 274 complexes would cost more than $78 amount to billion.


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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