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Neighbors shocked by slashing charge

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"You just never know," one neighbor said, smoking a cigarette outside the beige, seven-story apartment building overlooking the Long Island Expressway where Tarloff was arrested early Saturday morning. "I kinda thought he was a little off, but not like that."Police said Tarloff, who lived at 99-45 60th Ave. in Corona, allegedly slashed Sunnyside-born therapist Dr. Kathryn Faughey 15 times with a meat cleaver at her Manhattan office Feb. 12. Her colleague, Dr. Kenneth Shinbach, who was also injured in the attack, had counseled Tarloff and sent him to a mental institution in 1991, according to authorities. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tarloff indicated in an interrogation that he intended to rob Shinbach and leave the country with his mother, who is in a Far Rockaway nursing home. Longtime family friend Phyllis Zicherman said that growing up Tarloff was always friendly and well-liked among his peers, but underwent a change after failed attempts at college at Syracuse University and the University of Miami. "He was altogether different than he is now, his looks, his personality, everything," Zicherman said. Nonetheless, she said he never did anything to indicate he was capable of violence.Zicherman said Tarloff had lived with his mother, Beatrice, up until last year when she was moved to a nursing home near Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills after contracting pneumonia. Zicherman said she was later transferred to another nursing home in Far Rockaway, where she remains today. She said Tarloff had desperately wanted his mother to come home, but his brother Robert, who is her legal guardian, did not believe Tarloff was capable of caring for her. "That's all he had. He had nobody else. He had to fend for himself," Zicherman said. "He was still the same. I used to see him on the street and he would just talk about how much he missed her. He would tell me she would cry because she wanted to come home with him."Zicherman also said Tarloff's father, Leonard, who has been divorced from Beatrice for several years, would visit occasionally from his home in Staten Island. Robert Tarloff, who lives on Staten Island, could not be reached for comment.Another neighbor, who asked not to be named but said she lived above Tarloff, said the 39-year-old frequently argued with his mother before she left. "They were always yelling, I could hear them all the time," the neighbor said. "You hear that stuff and you don't think much of it at the time, because people argue. It makes you think you should pay closer attention sometimes." Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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