Slashing suspect arrested by 109th

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Detectives with the 109th Police Precinct have arrested a suspect in the Feb. 19 early morning slashing of a Bronx man in the parking lot of the Metropolis Nightclub in College Point.

The Police Department is also looking at ways to prevent further violence at the nightspot after sporadic incidents there over the past five years.

Detective Edward Reuss, a Police Department spokesman, said Felix Taveras, 27, of 439 Sheridan Ave. in the Bronx, was arrested Feb. 23 around 8 p.m. in the murder of 21-year-old Raymond Hernandez, also of the Bronx.

A detective with the 109th Police Precinct said Taveras was charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.

"That was a quick turnaround by the detectives," said Deputy Inspector James Waters, commander of the 109th Precinct.

The slashing occurred around 5 a.m. on Feb. 19 outside the five-year-old nightclub at 31-99 123rd St. and was the result of a dispute between Hernandez, Taveras and another suspect, also in his 20s, police said.

Hernandez was rushed to New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, where he died later the same day at 1:55 p.m.

Detective Michael Torrisi, who took part in the investigation, said police were no longer seeking another suspect.

Torrisi said the dispute that resulted in the slashing began when one of the men involved though he had been "dissed" and things escalated to violence.

"Bats came out, chains came out, a knife came out," said Torrisi, who noted Hernandez said he did not mean to hurt anyone, but told police the victim was larger than he was and kept coming toward him.

Since opening in 1995, the Metropolis, located in the industrialized College Point Corporate Park, has had its share of violent incidents which have concerned local civic organizations.

On Aug. 14, 1999, three men died outside of the nightclub, again around 5 a.m., in a bizarre shooting incident and car crash.

In December 1995, just months after Metropolis' grand opening, another violent confrontation occurred in front of the club, leaving one man slashed, three men shot and a fifth man hit by a car.

A Police Department source said "we're exploring different avenues as far as trying to get rid of what's going on there."

"I understand it's a problem spot," said the source, who would not provide further details.

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