Today’s news:

Ex-con stabs Jamaica teenager in crime spree: DA

Terrance Neal, 19, was trying to stop 45-year-old Andre Shobey from going outside and attacking someone on 160th Street in Jamaica Jan. 21, when Shobey allegedly turned the knife on Neal, pushed him onto a bed and stabbed him in the neck and side, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told a news conference last Thursday.

Shobey was arrested in Manhattan Jan. 21 after Neal was found dead. Shobey was charged with murder and other crimes he allegedly committed within a 12-hour period, including trying to force his way into two apartments at gunpoint in the Bronx and raping a 15-year-old girl in Manhattan, Kelly said.

"A one-man crime spree, which spanned three boroughs, was brought to an end last night with the arrest of Andre Shobey for murder and criminal possession of a weapon," Kelly said at the news conference.

Shobey was charged with murder and weapons possession by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, and faces up to life in prison if convicted as a persistent felony offender. He is also facing charges in the Bronx and Manhattan.

Shobey's alleged crime spree began when he left the Manhattan halfway house, where he had been living since his release from prison in August. He had served 18 years for several rapes, sexual assaults and robberies he committed in the Bronx in the early 1980s, and was registered as a dangerous sex offender, Kelly said.

Shobey headed for the Bronx about 11 a.m., where he tried to force at gunpoint two women in separate apartment buildings to let him into their homes, saying the police were after him. The first woman shut her door on him, and the second was trying to do the same when her neighbor came into the hallway, Kelly said.

Shobey allegedly shot the woman inside the apartment, grazing her, and fled, Kelly said.

Shobey then took a bus to a Jamaica-bound E train to talk to a person about the back rent one of Shobey's acquaintances owed, Kelly said. That was where Shobey met Neal, who was related to the person who was owed the money, the commissioner said.

"Shobey told him there was an acquaintance outside whom he had a grudge with and he intended to go outside and stab him," Kelly said. "When Neal tried to stop Shobey, Shobey pushed him off and backed him into another room, where he stabbed him."

Neal, who lived with his aunt and uncle and was babysitting his 4-year-old autistic cousin, was stabbed in the neck and back about 2:45 p.m., the commissioner said.

Kelly initially reported that the girl was unharmed, but the Queens district attorney's office was investigating allegations that Shobey may have sexually assaulted her, a spokeswoman for the DA said Tuesday.

Shobey fled again, heading for his niece's apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was unclear how he traveled there, Kelly said.

In the building he allegedly cornered a 15-year-old girl in an elevator and forced her up to the roof, where he raped and robbed her, Kelly said.

The police caught up with him at the apartment, after receiving a call from a friend, implicating Shobey in the incidents, the commissioner said.

"We received information from someone he notified that he had been involved in some of these acts," he said.

He was found with a .32 caliber gun on him, and officers confiscated a bloody denim jacket and a folding knife in his niece's apartment, Kelly said. Shobey did make statements to the police about the incidents, saying he had been drinking, the commissioner said.

In Jamaica, residents at the South Jamaica II Houses where Neal lived remembered him as a quiet teen who loved to play.

"He used to play in the hallway and ride his scooter with the kids," said Mercedes Booker, 16. "He was real quiet. He was a real sweetheart."

Santiago Castillo, one of Neal's closest friends said they would often play video games and basketball together.

"He was good," Castillo said. "He was fast."

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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