New Year’s Day usually signifies the celebration of a brand new start, but in Throggs Neck, an alleged homicide made the day anything but a joyous occasion.
Erik Perez, 48, from Brooklyn, has been charged with second-degree murder, for allegedly killing his grandmother Alice Durso at her home on the morning of Thursday, January 1.
Police believe that Perez bludgeoned his 87-year-old grandmother, repeatedly hitting her in the head inside her home at 633 Hollywood Avenue.
He also allegedly assaulted his mother and stepfather, and his grandmother’s home-health care aide, according to published reports and police sources.
He has been charged with assault, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, a police spokesman stated.
After a brief standoff with police, he was taken from the house in his underwear, and as of press time, remains at Jacobi Medical Center undergoing psychiatric evaluation.
“Perez has yet to be arraigned,” stated a spokeswoman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson on Monday, January 5. “He is still hospitalized.”
A spokesman for Jacobi Medical Center, John Doyle, said that the three victims who survived the alleged melee were released within 24 hours of the incidents.
According to a police spokesman, officers responded to a 911 call at around 7:30 a.m., and found Perez outside of the house behaving erratically.
Perez then retreated back into the house upon seeing the officers, and began to throw household items at the cops, a spokesman stated. The Emergency Service Unit arrived, subdued him, and then placed him into custody shortly thereafter.
A neighbor, Joanne Santos, was shocked to hear about the apparent homicide, saying that the whole neighborhood was in mourning over Durso’s death.
“She was well-loved, and we feel bad, even for the grandson,” said Santos.
“From what I hear, (Perez) was a very nice gentleman who totally loved her,” she added.
This was not the first time that tragedy struck the Durso family.
In 2010, the grandmother’s husband Vincent mysteriously disappeared while collecting rent at a building he owned in Morrisannia. Although his car was found in Crotona Park, Durso’s body was never recovered.
At the time, Alice Durso was distraught about her husband’s disappearance.
“I don’t know what to think anymore,” she said in a Bronx Times article from 2010. “Something has got to show up. When that will happen, I don’t know.”
More than five years after her husband’s disappearance, Alice Durso never got that closure.