A man was killed in his Ridgewood home Tuesday afternoon in a savage assault neighbors said may have been a landlord-tenant dispute but authorities declined to characterize. Police were searching for a suspect Wednesday.
Around 2:15 p.m., police received a 911 call reporting a dispute in progress at 20-31 Greene Ave.
When they arrived, a witness told them that he heard a loud commotion from the first floor of the home, a police source said, noting it was not clear what relationship the assailant had to the victim.
“They could see inside that there was some blood,” the source said. “The door was locked, so they went through the window.”
There they found 64-year-old Rosario Prestigiacomo lying on the floor with multiple stab wounds, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The New York Post reported police recovered a bloody shovel next to the body, but the source said it was not clear what weapon was used in the assault. In an official statement about the case released Tuesday, police said they had not recovered the murder weapon.
No arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.
Sam Shaheim, owner of a deli at the corner of Greene and Grandview avenues, said he came back from his daughter’s school to find the block cordoned off. He believed the victim was an elderly Italian landlord who lived on Greene and used to frequent his shop.
“He was a quiet person, didn’t talk much,” Shaheim said, noting the block is usually quiet.
But another neighbor who identified herself only as Mama Teresa, said the general area has seen several acts of violence in the last several years.
“Some guy got stabbed for his necklace a few years ago,” she said.
Teresa, who said she has lived in the neighborhood for 54 years, said many of the current tenants in the area do not live there long enough for her to get to know them.
“This is all new people that come from all nationalities,” she said of the residents on Greene.
Tuesday’s murder was the first of the year in the 104th Precinct. Last year there were four homicides in the 104th, although all four victims perished in a Middle Village apartment fire allegedly started by a woman who had a fight with her boyfriend.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@tim
©2009 Community News Group
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