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Corona man arrested, charged in fatal stabbing near LeFrak City: NYPD

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A Corona man was arrested and charged with the murder of a 22-year-old Florida man who was visiting LeFrak City where he was born and raised, police said.

The NYPD arrested Ronald O’Neil, 23, a LeFrak City resident, for allegedly attacking Hakeem Griffin Feb. 28 outside Vinny’s Pizza & Pasta near the corner of 57th Ave. and 92nd St. in Corona.

Officers from the 110th Precinct were on patrol in the vicinity when they heard a man yell out in distress and then fall to the ground, according to the NYPD.

When the officers went over to investigate, they found Griffin unresponsive with stab wounds to his neck, face and torso, police said. EMS were called to the scene, and the victim was transported to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead, police said.

A police spokesman said the trouble began as a dispute between the 22-year-old and another man. Video surveillance from various locations captured the defendant O’Neil, wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt with a white insignia, follow Griffin around the corner just before 8 p.m., when Griffin can be seen stumbling back onto 57th Avenue, where he falls to the ground, according to the criminal complaint. O’Neil is then seen running from the location with what appears to be a knife.

A witness told police he saw O’Neil grab Griffin’s shoulder with his right hand while stabbing him with his left hand before fleeing north on 97th Street. The NYPD executed a search warrant at O’Neil’s LeFrak City apartment on the Horace Harding Expressway last Friday, where they discovered the sweatshirt with the white insignia, black sneakers with what appeared to be blood on them and a knife, according to the criminal complaint.

O’Neil was charged with murder in the second-degree and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, March 12, 2018
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Reader feedback

Ladios from Seattle, Washington says:
I lived in LeFrak City when I was 18 year old from '95 to '05..then I left and came back in 2014 and left by the end of 2015. I must say it is a lot safer now than it used to be in the '90s. Back then there was no video camera, no security officers, and people were urinating on staircases, it was disgusting so nasty back then. But I think people should not blame the project for all the violence around it. The kids make bad choices, and there are consequences. I seen guys make it regardless of the surrounding, and some others fall short. A lot of bad guys that used to run the streets around LeFrak City are either in jail or dead. However parents should play their role in educating their children about the choices you make in life, and also the consequences.
March 17, 8:24 pm
Ladios from Seattle, Washington says:
I seen the victim back in the days, he was always holding his brothers hands, he seems like a good boy...it is really sad,but such is life.
March 17, 8:26 pm
Ladios from Seattle, Washington says:
The neighborhood has changed dramatically, more diversity, working class, a lot of stores are gone also, the Jamaican restaurant that was there for decades, is gone, the beauty salon on 57th ave gone, the Italian pizza restaurant is the oldest been here for decades, but it is now a better place for sure.
March 17, 8:31 pm

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