The French photographer who had his throat slit on a Harlem sidewalk last week had just flown into New York to surprise his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day.
Gabriel Bascou described to The Post on Monday how he was randomly attacked by an ex-con on Friday as he and girlfriend Manon Duma were leaving a breakfast date at IHOP.
“I’m in really bad shape for now,” wrote Bascou, who can’t speak due to a tracheotomy, that’s also left him with a lung infection.
The 28-year-old tourist was still recovering in the Harlem Hospital ICU on Monday. He explained through a series of WhatsApp messages how his romantic Big Apple reunion turned into a nightmare.
The Parisian shutterbug had wanted to visit New York “since forever” and decided to fly in to surprise his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day.
They hadn’t seen each other in just over a month, since Duma, 23, moved to work as an au pair for a family in Harlem.
The lovebirds were stepping out of an IHOP on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard near West 132nd Street around 11 a.m. — when a man slashed Bascou in the neck and face with a knife.
“I didn’t see him coming,” Bascou said. “At first I thought it was a punch.”
The attacker “turned around and looked me in the eye and started running,” Bascou recalled. “Then, I felt the warm blood run inside my coat.”
Passersby “didn’t understand what was going on,” Bascou said. His girlfriend began to shout for someone to call 911, which he said a bicyclist did.
“The people around me seemed terrified,” he recalled.
A former nurse, Bascou “did everything to stay calm” and gave Duma his blood type and list of allergies in case he passed out.
He said he needed a transfusion of two pints of blood.
Video obtained by The Post showed him kneeling on a sidewalk as his blood spilled onto the pavement and Duma holding him while talking to police.
Since the horrific attack, Duma, who is also a model, “hasn’t slept” in part due to the attacker still being out on the streets.
That is, until Monday afternoon, when police announced that they arrested 28-year-old Khalief Young as a suspect in the attack.
Bascou wrote he was “super excited” when told that that cops had someone in custody.
“I want my girlfriend to stay safe here,” he said.
“If they caught someone in just a few days, they did a great job.”
Duma, meanwhile, was in shock, asking tearfully: “Is it really him?”
Also on Monday, Bascou’s mother, Marielle Debayne, a nurse from Marseille, arrived in New York to be with him — as he’s set to stay hospitalized for at least another seven days.
“It’s so awful,” the distraught mom told The Post. “Gabriel was here for one day. He walked [less than half a mile] in New York and was cut.”
Friends of Bascou have also started an online fundraiser to help him out with bills, he said.
Despite his ordeal, Bascou said he’ll make it back to the Big Apple for a visit, especially after not seeing much else besides the inside of the Harlem IHOP — a breakfast he dreams about as he hasn’t been able to eat anything else since.
“I plan to come back there as soon as possible and discover this incredible city,” he said.