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.