Police found a well-liked neighborhood restaurant employee stabbed in his Merry Avenue basement apartment in Waterbury-LaSalle early on Thursday, January 8 and arrested his attacker the next day.
But police don’t think the crime was related to a series of late night hold-ups in Throggs Neck and Pelham Bay reported since Christmas Eve.
The stab victim, a 24-year old male Hispanic, was removed to Jacobi Medical Center, where he remains in stable condition. He sustained a horrendous number of wounds, more than 25, police said.
Detectives from the 45th Precinct have all but ruled out a break-in; they suspect that the victim knew his attacker. There were no signs of a forced door, police said. On Friday, January 9, the man has yet to name the stabber.
But on Saturday, January 9, police arrested Rafael Sanchez-Martinon, 25, of 1864 Wallace Avenue. Detectives looked for fingerprints at the apartment, police said. Sanchez-Martinon has been charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment. He pled not guilty on Sunday, January 10 and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, January 15. Sanchez-Martinon has no prior arrests. His bail was set at $100,000.
The victim has no prior arrests or warrants, police said. He was stabbed 25 times in the chest and suffered a collapsed lung, court records show. He also suffered a slash from his left cheekbone to his jaw and another from his left ear to the middle of his throat.
The victim underwent surgery and was admitted to Jacobi’s intensive care unit, court records show. Bob Bieder of the 45th Precinct Community Council was surprised at the bad news.
“In these cases, often [the attacker] is somebody [the victim] knows,” Bieder added.
Mary Jane Musano of the Waterbury La-Salle Community Association agreed.
“A crime of passion, no doubt,” Musano said.
The bad news concerned Musano but not as much as if had been a random crime. Waterbury-LaSalle rarely sees violence of any kind, she said.
“We’re an island in the Bronx,” Musano added. “We want to keep the neighborhood good.”
On January 9, Councilman Jimmy Vacca consulted 45th Precinct Captain Dimitrios Roumeliotis about a series of attempted robberies reported by his constituents. One hold-up occurred on Logan Avenue in Throggs Neck, another on Crosby Avenue and at least one more on Mulford Avenue in Pelham Bay, Vacca said.
Police suspect the same group of men in several hold-ups and are concentrated on the problem, he said. Indeed, the councilman has noted more young men stopped on the street by police.
The suspects claimed to possess knives in at least one case, Vacca said. He encouraged constituents with helpful information to phone the 45th Precinct or his office.
“I hope that the police can make an arrest,” Vacca said.
Reach reporter Daniel Beekman at 718 742-3383 or dbeekman@c
©2010 Community News Group