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Stabbed man dies in Woodside park

Police investigate the stabbing death of Enrique Morales Martinez in Woodside. Photo by Rich Bockmann
TimesLedger Newspapers

A Woodside park that neighbors said is known as a notorious hangout for rowdy day laborers was the site of a deadly fight over the weekend when a homeless man fatally stabbed another with a piece of broken glass, according to the NYPD.

Police said that around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a 911 call of a man attacked inside Winfield Plaza, at the corner of Woodside Avenue and 69th Street, where they found 37-year-old Enrique Morales Martinez with stab wounds on his neck and shoulder.

Emergency medical personnel took Morales Martinez to Elmhurst General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

Another homeless man, 28-year-old Ramiro Martinez, was arrested and charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the police.

Speaking through an interpreter, a witness said he was standing across the street from the park when he saw the two men get into an argument that quickly turned violent. Roberto Lopez said it did not appear the two men knew each other, but it seemed as though Martinez was already upset and Morales Martinez was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lopez, a Guatemalan immigrant, said he saw Martinez stab the victim about three times in the back of the neck before slowly leaving the scene, heading south toward Queens Boulevard.

Investigators taped off the park and examined the scene as night fell, and as curious passersby stopped to inquire about what happened, many were quick to point out that the park had an unsavory reputation.

Ali Veerami, an employee at a liquor store across the street from the park, said day laborers gather there each day hoping to get picked up for work.

He said those who do not get picked up will spend their entire day hanging around in the park.

“There’s drinking, too much problems every day,” he said. “Their yesterday money, they use it on beer and just drink and fight. Every day there’s a fight.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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