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Corona man stabbed to death on Northern Boulevard

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A 24-year-old man last reported to be living in Corona died Thursday morning at Elmhurst Hospital after being stabbed following an argument, the New York Police Department said. Police had not yet made any arrests as of Thursday afternoon and said the investigation was ongoing.

Jose Balberas, whose last known address was on 34th Avenue near 103rd Street, was injured late Wednesday night, police said. Officers received multiple calls around 10:30 p.m. reporting a dispute in front of the La Rosa Mexican Deli at 104-05 Northern Blvd. in Corona, police said. When officers arrived to the scene, they found Balberas lying with multiple stab wounds in front of the New Choice Laundromat, located across the street at the northwest corner of the 104th Street and Northern Boulevard intersection, police said.

The EMS personnel who arrived at the scene took Balberas to Elmhurst Hospital, police said. A little after 5 a.m., he was pronounced dead, police said.

The slaying took place on a commercial strip. Police had the area in front of the deli and in front of the laundromat cordoned off into early Thursday afternoon. Many employees of stores adjacent to the site said they had closed up for the night and were at home when the murder occurred.

Rafael Diaz, who works at a pastry store near the area, said it happened when he and five other members of his family were closing up the shop.

“Figured it was a stabbing,” Diaz said. “We didn’t hear anything.”

Diaz said they saw Balberas when when police cars started driving down the street near the Northern Boulevard and 104th Street intersection and they realized what had happened.

“All the cops were coming into the corner,” he said.

Police have not revealed the race of the perpetrators, although Balberas was described as Hispanic. Diaz said he’s seen incidents of racial violence in the area in the past.

“It seems to be blacks against South Americans,” Diaz said. “There seems to be a lot of racism.”

Residents at the house listed as Balberas’ last address said they did not know anyone who had lived in the house by that name. Relatives of Balberas could not be located Thursday.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 10:48 am, October 12, 2011
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