west end 94-95
West End Avenue between 94th and 95th streets. Image via Google Streetview.

Police arrested Jairo DeLeon, a 26-year-old they say had 29 prior arrests and is affiliated with a gang, for stabbing a building worker from the Pomander Walk houses on Wednesday. DeLeon was charged with felony assault in the first degree, said Capt. Marlon Larin of the 24th precinct.

DeLeon lives in Brooklyn but was visiting his mother at 316 West 95th street, the homeless shelter known as Freedom House, said Larin. The victim was sweeping on West End between 94th and 95th street when DeLeon came upon him shortly before 2 p.m. and asked him if he’d seen DeLeon’s mother. DeLeon told police that he believed the building worker had taken money from his mother, “which is not true,” said Larin. The worker was confused and said no, but DeLeon continued to ask, according to Larin.

Suddenly, DeLeon took out a knife he had been carrying. “He took the kitchen knife and started stabbing him,” said Larin. “It was unprovoked entirely.”

The worker protected himself with his right arm, but the attack was particularly vicious, said Larin. Luckily, two officers on a routine patrol drove by, and jumped out of the car, causing DeLeon to flee North up West End and turn toward Broadway. The victim and the officers gave chase. A sergeant from the 24th got DeLEon to drop the knife and subdued him, while officers and several bystanders helped the victim, fashioning a makeshift tourniquet for his arm until an ambulance arrived, Larin said.

DeLeon has 29 prior arrests, including charges for robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, said Larin. He is affiliated with a gang called Dominicans Don’t Play and is known as “Little Owl,” he added.

Larin said he checked with the shelter and they told him DeLeon visited his mother there but was not allowed up to the room, which is apparently their policy. She would meet him downstairs when he arrived. Neighbors have complained that the shelter is a nuisance and that crime in the immediate area has risen since it arrived in 2012.

The victim had been stabilized when officers left him at the hospital, Larin said. A nearby doorman was one of the people who helped him after the attack, the Columbia Spectator reported.

“According to a notice posted in the nearby 710 West End Ave. building, the victim was an employee at Pomander Walk and had been cleaning the sidewalk before he was stabbed. Billy, a doorman for 710 West End Ave., applied a tourniquet to the victim’s arm until ambulances arrived, the notice said.

Another employee of Pomander Walk—who would not give his name—confirmed that the victim was a porter at the building complex.”

If you know the victim, let us know in the comments if he’s been released from the hospital and if West Side Rag or our readers can help him in any way.

NEWS | 70 comments | permalink
    1. Sam says:

      It’s a shame that this happened, but it was really a matter if time until a serious crime was committed in the neighborhood because if this shelter.

      Hopefully this will serve as a wakeup call to law enforcement and those in the community who are blind to the risks of a homeless shelter in our backyard.

    2. Paul RL says:

      Those of you who have been denying or turning a blind eye to the problems that Freedom House has been causing should be ashamed of yourselves. Public safety, especially in a neighborhood loaded with children, should never take a back seat to your politics. Gale Brewer, Linda Rosenthal, and Scott Stringer should all share blame here as well. Enough is enough. It’s time for Freedom House to close – permanently.

      • webot says:

        why do you guys have to make everything so political? what does that say about you?

        of course, sarcasm….29 prior arrests and only 26 and still walking the streets…

        Thank you NYPD for another great job of capture – also the riverside drive gang now arrested. please be assured that most NYers appreciate what you do every day.

        • Lsilver says:

          You have to wonder why young men are permanently imprisoned for smoking pot while a clearly dangerous individual with multiple arrests is walking the streets. Seems to me his poor mother shouldn’t be blamed or even Freedom House, which I too wish was not on my block, but the judicial system. I hope this poor man recovers – randomized crime is so incredibly sad.

    3. Josh says:

      29 priors, involvement in gang, and the present extremely violent crime? Let’s call it an even 30 and lock him up for about as many years. He needs to be removed from society for a long, long time.

    4. Andre says:

      What an absurd! Another crime related to the “Freedom House”. While those criminals are FREE around our neighborhood, we have to hide themselves not to become their next victim! Please, shut down this shelter immediately!! We neighbors of W90s are sick and tired of this people! Send them away!

    5. T says:

      I spoke with the other employee after the incident a few hours after it happened, and he said that he was released from the hospital.

      I live next door to these shelters. It has been a problem non-stop since the they were bused in during the middle of the night in 2012. There was a registered pedophile living there the first few weeks and school was in session. The neighborhood was buzzing about it and angry. One guy that lived there for 40 something years said it was insane living there. He was one of the original SRO guys. Nicest guy. He couldn’t take the chaos anymore and left.

      I have had to call the police many times. My kitchen and bathroom windows back up to them. The noise level was unbelievable. People screaming, I’ve seen women get beat, fist fights, a man screaming he was going to kill someone at 6am in the morning from one of the windows, etc. A 13 year boy even got held at knifepoint on our elevator at 3pm. I’ve seen so many drug deals going down on the street directly across the street from the school, lots of panhandling, etc.

      Some of the single parents or families are working class people and I get they need a place. However, why would you put kids/families in with some of these others that just have no respect, may be on drugs and/or cause trouble. And why would you have them this close to the school.

    6. robert says:

      This months community council meeting with the 24 precinct is this coming Wednesday at 7pm. It is held each month at the precinct 151 West 100th street, between Col & Amsterdam Ave’s. It is a public meeting and open to all


    7. Chris Bartlett says:

      It was only a matter of time. Another reason I never venture north of 86th Street for anything.

      Unfortunately as long as the shelter is there the residents of the West 90s will continue to face quality of life issues, at a minimum, and likely further threats to their personal safety.

      • Martha says:

        You never venture north of 86th Street? Really? Is anyone else as offended as I am?
        Or as confused, given the number of crimes committed and recorded, in fact, in WSR, below 86th Street?

        • Jenn says:

          Yes, I was definitely thrown off too. To be honest though, I’m not too surprised. I love the UWS and live here, but it is a very close-minded place. A liberal arts degree from an ivy-league school and a six-figure income can’t buy you compassion though, sadly.

          No doubt there are probably major issues (beyond my comprehension) that need to be looked into right away with Freedom House, but unlike our friend Robert here, when I don’t know everything I can about an issue, I keep my mouth closed, especially if I know that it will keep the flying crap from coming out of my mouth.

      • Jenn says:

        You’re a pretty terrible person. As a fellow Upper West Sider, just wanted to send you that love. Hope I never run into you. Your ignorance knows no bounds.

        Have a great weekend drinking $5 coffees at Starbucks and not venturing above 96th street because you’re an incredibly small-minded person!

      • TFJWM says:

        20th (59th – 86th) 969 crimes last year
        24th (86th-110) 1022
        MTN (43-59th river to lex) 2271

        I guess you never go south of 59th as well?

    8. Rhonda says:

      I’d rather subsidize housing for the worker who got stabbed and other people who work in buildings and restaurants and stores in the neighborhood rather than for the freeloaders who did snag those apartments. This is shameful. And before anyone cries NIMBY, that acronym should be reserved for the politician who places something like Freeloader House on my block instead of on hers.
      I hope the worker sues the city.

    9. webot says:

      Question for clarification:

      Did one of the two shelters stout down?

      Or did they just reduce the population in both – but kept the two open?


    10. AC says:

      This isn’t the appropriate place to vent your neighborhood issues, certainly not the place to get action. Please attend Community Board Meetings; write your Boro President; local council representative; and get signatures, as power is in the numbers. Let them know that, as constituents of the community they serve, we decide who will stay or go come election time.

      Let’s use this opportunity to wish this Upper West Sider a speedy recovery and get him back on his feet , , , God Bless and be well 🙂

    11. geoff says:

      to me, the (wonderful) surprise in this story is that the attacker was not shot and killed. in a country bristling with guns, ammunition, the right to bear them and the attitudes that go with all of that, escaping their use when it seems warranted is a miracle.

      apparently not even tasers were used.

      if aggressive apprehension can happen here, why not elsewhere?

      why do so many cops shoot to kill when examples like this exist?

      • webot says:

        Seriously Geoff?

        You are using this incident to talk about the overzealous policing ? – this is what the police do everyday ! protect us from the bad guys. Despite a city hall and council that choices to demonize and take a few unfortunate incidents and call it every day policing. Really not the time or place!

        same to LSilver to a lesser extent: no pot smoker is permanantely imprisoned… Sheesh

      • marie says:

        Actually in this case had they shot and killed the attacker I would not have wasted a single moment being sympathetic.

        • geoff says:

          i rest my case. done and dusted.

          • sam says:

            It’s too bad he wasn’t done and dusted! He’ll be convicted, serve some time and then he’ll probably be back on the UWS visiting his mom.

            Geoff let’s see if you change your tune if you ever have the pleasure of bumping into him on the street, or if he’s just having a bad day and feels like committing a violent crime.

      • Independent says:

        The attacker?

        What about the victim, a man who apparently according to all accounts was simply doing his job, not provoking anyone in the least?

        If there’s any “wonderful surprise” here, it would be if/that the victim survived with, at most, minimal long-term damage.

    12. Memorex says:

      Good to see that thinly-veiled racism and ignorance are alive and well in the comments section. Funny how people so easily equate a RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE with the existence of a homeless shelter, which is not only burden the city should share, but an issue with historical ties to Upper West Side. Your NIMBYism perpetuates the problems that leads to incidents like these.

      • webot says:

        Memorex, when all else fails, here come the cries of racism.

        Read above, what exactly is racist about any of the comments? nothing.
        Random? He was visiting his mother AT the Shelter and accused the victim of stealing from her- I would call that a direct connection to Freedom House.

        You what is thinly veiled racism? the idea that you somehow expect others to not abide by the rules of society (following laws, working, paying rent) as everyone else. To have such low expectations is racism.

      • Paul RL says:

        Your own not-so-thinly-veiled race-baiting comments are a danger to the well-being of everyone around you. This is a safety issue, nothing else. And for years we’ve already had more than our fair share of homeless, substance abusers, and mental patients in our neighborhood. It’s those “historical ties” that you refer to that made a mess of the UWS in the 1970’s and ’80’s. I’m glad you want to return to that era so you can feel better about yourself. But I and many others will continue to fight for the improvement of our neighborhood and the safety of our families. Closing “Freedom House” is part of that fight.

        • Memorex says:

          MCMH, Freedom Tunnel, SROs, Phoenix House, destruction of San Juan Hill, Columbia swallowing property, hell, even Bloomingdale Asylum….yes the UWS does have historical ties to this issue beyond your reductionist vision of the 70s/80s, as bad as they were…

          but god forbid you have any concept of non-linear causality. If you have such contempt for the mentally ill, homeless, or destitute maybe you should focus on what can be done to prevent or mitigate their condition so they can get out of your hair. Better act quick before the boogeyman gets past your doorman, breaks down your door, and watches your DVR.

          • Jenn says:

            No one wants to watch Big Bang Theory, not even the homeless.

          • Paul RL says:

            Wow, what a task you’ve given me! Well, let’s see…while I do give plenty of money to charity, I’m sorry if I just don’t have the time or the expertise to dedicate my life to mitigating the root causes of homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction. So I’ll tell you what – for the moment I’m going to simply stick to fighting the things that adversely affect the quality of life in our neighborhood and directly compromise the safety of my family. Oh, how very selfish and NIMBY of me!

        • Jenn says:

          This isn’t some cozy suburb, it is NEW YORK CITY. Where people from all walks of life intersect with one another. If you’d like to group all of the homeless shelters, community centers, outreach programs and whatever else you deem scary then I’m sure we can do that, but you’d be one step away from being Satan.

          Also, let’s say they were to move it, what do you say to those residents living near it? “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t like this here so I think it’s better in an area that isn’t around me. Here you go.” You understand the arrogance there and how this sentiment of pushing things away from us that either scare us or we don’t understand is part of the overall problem with displacement this city has seen in the last 15 years, right?

          And if we’re gonna get rid of anything, I’d like to get rid of the high end child boutique stores. Now THOSE are scary.

          • Paul RL says:

            Jenn, nowhere did I suggest removing all homeless and other supportive shelters, however I do believe that we have far too many, especially above 86th Street. This particular building was an SRO until 2012, when Bloomberg shoehorned it in as a “emergency” shelter that somehow became permanent. Residents act out inside and outside its walls. Some have (or have had) outstanding arrest warrants. It’s run badly. It’s across the street from an elementary school. Neighbors are subject to trash thrown out the windows, and screaming at all hours of the night. There are so many problems that this shelter has been causing that it’s reasonable for people to want it closed. This has nothing to do with diversity, it has to do with safety and quality of life.

            But mostly, I take exception to your Big Bang Theory comment. How could you not be a fan of Howard Wallowitz???

          • Independent says:

            […]but you’d be one step away from being Satan.

            First, over-the-top self-righteous preening on race that rivaled– if not surpassed– the usual suspects here.

            Now you’ve added completely over-the-top melodrama (“Satan”? Seriously?).

            I have to wonder whether you aren’t trolling. (And hope that you are…)

      • Scott says:

        It’s not live, it’s Memorex and it’s brain dead.

    13. marie says:

      Huh. How has Bruce Bernstein not piped in yet with his usual defense of Freedom House/other shelters??

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        thank you for your interest, Marie. I haven’t yet read all the statements above so wanted to do so before responding.

        WSR claims in the article that “crime in the immediate area” has risen since Freedom House was located there in 2012. Do you have any documentation for this? I have looked at statistics and have seen no increase in crime “in the immediate area.” Crime continues to drop in the 24th Precinct as a whole.

        There was a rash of car break-ins a while ago but those were not limited to “the immediate area” and included CPW. And those have now decreased just as they earlier increased.

        This was a terrible event. Too bad that it is being politicized — just as a few days ago, the attack in Riverside Park and 68th Street was politicized by many of the same people.

        But I don’t see how the heck you can blame the attack on the guy’s MOTHER living somewhere. His mother didn’t do the stabbing. Talk about guilt by association!

        Some people seem to be almost GLEEFUL that an incident occurred that they can finally tie to the shelter.

        All sort of other myths are being spread — about stop-and-frisk, about housing projects, etc. Does anyone remember that we live in one of the safest neighborhoods in NYC — and that it continues to be an incredibly safe neighborhood, despite this incident?

        • Sam says:

          Ahhh Bruce, I couldn’t figure out how you were going to spin this, but here are the cold, hard facts that you prefer, it’s pretty simple really.

          1. There is a shelter on 95th street
          2. There was a man visiting his mom on 95th street at the shelter
          3. The same man viciously stabbed another human being

          • Memorex says:

            The problem with your narrative is that if his mother didn’t live in the shelter, it’d be completely different response from you and many others on this board.

            If his grandmother lived at the Ansonia you’d be crying “I can’t believe this happened!” instead of “Of course this happened! It was only a matter of time!”

            • Sam says:

              It’s difficult to reason with those that are so PC and righteous that you would rather turn a blind eye to the obvious than make a statement that may seem out of line with the extreme left wing views of MSNBC and The UWS. When the personal safety of residents is in jeopardy then we must reevaluate things.

              This guy has 29 prior convictions and would not be walking around WEA unless his mother was there. Make sense?

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              actually, no, Sam, it DOESN’T make sense. There are ex-cons who are walking around the UWS every single day who don’t have mothers living in Freedom House.

              You don’t live in a gated community. Perhaps you would like to — but you don’t.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              I want to remind Sam that he was the person who was complaining long and loud about how bad things would get when the former St. Louis Hall (Now Reston House) on W. 94th Street would become fully occupied. “74 more mentally ill people in the neighborhood!!” Then I pointed out to him that it had been fully occupied for 6 months, and he had not even noticed.

              And i also offered to walk with Sam down 95th past the shelter any time of the day or night. It is very safe. He refused my offer.

              This is a safe neighborhood and we had a recent tragic incident. Many of the people spreading alarm have a political agenda.

            • Sam says:

              Bruce please tell me if you believe this particular crime would have happened had the Freedom House been closed?

              Whether you would like to admit it or not Bruce, this “tragic incident” is a DIRECT result of the Freedom House. What if the next “tragic incident” involves the murder of one of your neighbors? How would that resonate Bruce?

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              a brief note to Sam: the fellow in question has 29 prior ARRESTS, not convictions. If he had 29 prior CONVICTIONS i don’t think he would be walking around the UWS, or anywhere else, other than a prison yard.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            what demagogic fear mongering from Sam!

            “the next smoking gun will be a mushroom cloud.”

            • Sam says:

              Fear mongering? A man was stabbed and could have died on your block because of the shelter, how is this fear mongering and not the cold hard truth?

        • Paul says:

          Bruce, I love you. I honestly read this website simply to revel in your comments (the the stupidity from other comments who apparently hate you for no good reason). Always on point. Always truthful. Always sympathetic to all walks of life. Let’s get a beer one day
          Bruce for mayor!

      • Sam says:

        Bruce you shouldn’t have mentioned St. Louis hall given the “incident” there today.

        I know this neighborhood is really, really safe and there is absolutely nothing to worry about with 200 homeless on 95th and 74 MICA residents on 94th, but this neighborhood is getting a little stabby recently, no?

    14. Mark says:

      I don’t see how him living in Brooklyn and visiting his MOTHER who lived at the shelter is in any way the shelters fault. All of the critics of the homeless near their market rate lives were just praying for something like this to happen so they could pounce and blame the “liberals”.

    15. Bruce Bernstein says:

      Amid all the fear mongering, someone should point out that once again the 24th Precinct did a superb job, including in the communication of this incident.

    16. Beth says:

      I think what everyone is failing to mention is that this is not a “homeless” issue. It is an issue with how we deal with mentally unstable and drug addled homeless people. I live on 95th and West End and the people from the shelter that I have encountered on the streets clearly need more care than an SRO can provide. Many of them are mentally unstable. There is a ton of drugs. These people need to be in mental institutions and rehabs. But we simply throw them in an inadequate SRO with horrible plumbing issues and then are surprised that they walk the streets screaming.

      I feel endangered often… I am a small woman and find the fights and screaming intimidating. I don’t care that the “crime rate” is up or down. I care that both the residents of the neighborhood and the people living in the shelter are both experiencing quality of life issues.

      Clearly something needs to be done.

      • Sam says:

        Perhaps you and Bruce live on the same block but in different universes from each other?

        According to Bruce the Freedom House is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and it’s presence has not at all affected neither the quality of life nor the safety of those surrounding it.

        • Beth says:

          I don’t entirely disagree with Bruce. The crime stats that I have seen do not support a sharp rise in crime….but with that said… I am still uneasy when I walk down the street and people are screaming at each other or in some cases simply screaming. One woman ran up to me to declare that she had died for my sins. Men come up to me and stand too close when I am walking my dog. None of these are crimes but they significantly alter my feelings of safety.

          But I still maintain that this shelter is an issue for its inhabitants and not just those of us in the neighborhood. They do not get proper care or proper plumbing. People down on their luck are thrown together with deeply disturbed people who should be getting treatment.

          This is not a simple issue.

          • Sam says:

            You really hit the nail on the head here Beth. I think we can all agree that the statistics for the 24th precinct show a drop in crime in most areas.

            What statistics cannot show is day to day quality of life issues you mentioned.

          • whatsupduck says:

            So eloquently put. Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts.

        • G Gomez says:

          I live next door to the shelter, and I also apparently live in a different universe from Bruce.

    17. Zeus says:

      Take these maggots (29 previous arrests) and put them on a barge, 3 miles in the ocean.
      Give them some fishing poles and worms.
      Let them feed themselves.
      No need for the society to take care of them.
      If they escape, catch them and deport them to Mexico.
      Let them see how illegals should be treated.
      Not like we do, giving them basically more than tax paying citizens get from our corrupt and socialistic government.

    18. Jean says:

      I wonder….do they have any of these shelters on Park Avenue or any of the other swanky streets or only on the west side where the politicians THINK these shelters should be?

      • TRay says:

        Don’t even get me started on Hunters Moon on 98th. Walked out on a nice Saturday morning to a woman, elbows on the hood taking a piss on the bumper and she has the audacity to get pissed at me for being in the vicinity. These places are chock full of freeloaders and people who think the government owes them housing, medicine, food, diapers and anything else they can get their hands on. Nearly every night the fire dept and police are outside of their door dragging someone out in cuffs or on a stretcher. Forget PC, PC dosen keep you safe at night, instinct does. Half of you whistleblowers wouldn’t even walk on the same side of the street as some of these people yet you talk out of the of the other side of your mouth stating that these homeless shelters are good for the community and have no adverse affects on the neighborhood and you donated to them. At least have the dignity to keep true to your values. Don’t advocate for these shelters, donate money to them, and support them and then walk on the other side of the street. Own your stance and risk being stabbed by a paranoid schizophrenic or delusional person who thinks you’ve robbed their mother. These shelters have a direct and obvious correlation to the crime in the vicinity and I would be glad to see them go. See you at the next board meeting.

    19. Neighbor says:

      I appreciate that Bruce comes out to defend the shelter. So it means he wants to listen?

      a. There is no question that crime has increased due to Shelter. The numbers are absolute, not statistics. There are much more drugs around. I guarantee you. Moreover, a few crimes (including this one) are directly related to the Shelter. It is a fact. Please acknowledge it.

      b. Neighbors complain and others don’t come up. It destroys a neighborhood. Even if you Bruce don’t think so, many many neighbors think so. Just ask. You can’t impose your opinion on others, meaning, if a significant number of neighbors think it gets worse, it does. Just make a poll on the area near 95th street. It will be the vast majority saying so.

      c. If it is *really* a social obligation why not put on rich neighbors such as Park Avenue? or Tribecca? Or to areas further away from Manhathan? what is wrong with it?

      There is no spin to keep it here, you are just destroying a neighborhood.

    20. NikFromNYC says:

      What cruel preening monsters voted for those whose idea of compassion is welfare slavery right in the middle of million dollar snobs, where there are terribly few jobs for recovering addicts, such as small factories like you find on Long Island? Liberals now require community organized homeless by the thousands along with free immigration to buffer the backlash against their destructively Marxist ideals. Anybody who votes contemporary progressive these days who then complains about the result is such a neurotic that it’s actually delightful to witness. Same people who support rent control that prices even young professionals out of the UWS economy, where the 1% of wives of bankers drive local busybody politics, reason be actively damned, abusing their children with their latest pseudoscience inquisitional doomsday cult promoted by divinity major and tobacco farmer Al Gore. Terrifying kids like old cold war psychopaths, and installing crime factories near schools is simply evil. Soon your children will grow up to hate you for indoctrinating them in white guilt and unreason just like so many grew up to despise their state trusting 1950s parents.

    21. DAC says:

      Readers and commenters should be reminded that this is NOT a new issue…
      And should visit this site for more in depth info

    22. DAC says:

      “The operators of this shelter are getting a 44-month agreement that could outlast the de Blasio administration,” says Biller. “The reimbursement is very similar — roughly $3600 a month for a tiny squalid room — to what Bloomberg was set to give them.

      “This is an outrage. SROs should not be used as shelters in the first place. The payments are a multiple of what the typical SRO tenant pays per month, and this is an incentive to replace SRO tenants with shelter residents.

      “There is also no incentive for the vendor, Aguila to provide appropriate services to help shelter residents get back on their feet and become self-sustaining people. It’s bad for their business to fulfill Independent Living Plans and get people out of the shelter.

      “Giving Aguila a long-term contract is not an incentive for performance, accountability or transparency. And that is bad for the shelter residents, the SRO tenants and the community.

      “It comes down to four words: “Show me the money,” says Biller.
      “It is even sadder to think that the best de Blasio can do is repeat Bloomberg’s blunders. This is a regressive approach to helping the needy.”

      Neighborhood In The Nineties has requested City Council Member Helen Rosenthal to use her position as Chair of the Council Contract Committee to look into the City’s practices of awarding long term contracts at exorbitant costs to house the homeless.

    23. WombatNYC says:

      These are the type of crimes where no arrest or trail should be provided . Immediate death. Hanging or Stonign is fine by me. Someone who is 26 and has 29 priors has no future and will be no benefit to society.. Goodnight !