NYPD arrests man following Bell Blvd. stab

A late-night assault with a sharp object on Bell Boulevard left one man injured, according to police and the district attorney. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A 23-year-old man said he was stabbed after a late-night argument outside of Brian Dempsey’s American Ale House in Bayside last week.

The incident occurred around 4 a.m., when police received a call of an altercation near the corner of 40th Avenue and arrived to find the man lying on the ground, bleeding.

“He got me in the neck,” the 23-year-old told TimesLedger Newspapers. “I was bleeding profusely.”

Police then found Douglaston resident Joseph Spione, 36, about a block away and slapped him with a lengthy list of charges, including assault and possession of drugs, according to a criminal complaint from the Queens district attorney.

Spione had methadone pills, an opiate, and what cops called an edged weapon with him, according to a spokeswoman for the NYPD.

The victim was rushed to the hospital, where doctors performed emergency surgery on his neck, according to the complaint.

Spione was charged with felony assault, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance, harassment and disorderly conduct, according to the NYPD.

Bartenders along Bell Boulevard were not happy to hear of the violence, with one suggesting the police should focus more on the sidewalks outside the neighborhood’s many watering holes instead of pulling people over to check for drunk driving.

But at the same time, few were surprised.

“There is always going to be bar fights because alcohol is involved,” said one barkeep, who did not want to be identified by name. “That’s why we have some of the best bouncers in town.”

The bartender added that both men and women contribute to some of the fisticuffs that periodically erupt along Bayside’s main drag and added, “Legalize pot for God’s sake. You don’t see anyone fighting over that.”

The Bell Boulevard bar scene in the late 1980s and 1990s is the stuff of legend, according to many who witnessed the revelry firsthand. Partygoers from the Bronx to Long Island would descend on Bayside’s many taverns in droves, filling the streets even on weeknights.

And while some bartenders said the streets are much safer than during the area’s heyday, others said the sidewalks — and their cash registers — feel a little empty.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 8:53 pm, March 7, 2013
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