Bronx man arrested in Astoria slay

By Nathan Duke

Ricardo Garcia-Villegas, 51, of 23-19 Hughes Ave. in the Bronx, was arrested Jan. 11 and charged with murder in the second degree in the Jan. 9 stabbing of Armando Perez, who lived at 12-12 31st Ave. in Astoria, the DA said. Police responded to a call that an assault had taken place in the building and found Perez dead in the basement of the building with multiple stab wounds.According to the criminal complaint filed by the district attorney's office, Garcia-Villegas allegedly stabbed Perez twice in the chest with a kitchen knife in the victim's apartment sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Jan. 9 after a dispute.”The victim came at me with a knife – we both struggled for the knife, I threw him on the bed, grabbed his hands and I pushed his hand that was carrying the weapon and it stayed stuck,” Garcia-Villegas said in a Jan. 11 statement in the complaint.A spokeswoman for the DA's office said Perez had called the police earlier that day to complain about loud music coming from an apartment near his basement apartment at the 31st Avenue building. Police arrived, but no arrests were made, the spokeswoman said. She said several people were listening to loud music in the apartment and drinking.The spokeswoman said Garcia-Villegas and Perez, who knew each other, later were involved in a dispute about the noise from the apartment. Later, Garcia-Villegas' nephew, who owns the apartment where the music was being played, found Perez's body and called the police, who picked up the defendant in the Bronx and took him into custody, she said.If convicted, Garcia-Villegas could face 25 years to life in prison, Queens DA Richard Brown said.”The defendant's alleged actions were outrageous and mindless and demonstrate the lethal consequences of senseless violence,” he said.The stabbing death of Perez was the fourth homicide in the 114th Precinct since the new year. The first three homicides have still not been solved. On New Year's Day, two men – one from Syracuse and another from Hempstead, L.I. – were shot and killed in front of the A.Q. Juice Bar on 27th Avenue in Astoria. The precinct's third murder this year occurred outside the Santorini Cafe on Steinway Street in Astoria around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 6. A 42-year-old Ridgewood man was stabbed during an argument with two unknown men that began in the cafe and ended outside. Police said they do not know the reason for the dispute or the identities of the two men, who fled the scene. The victim, Ervin Zimonjic, a construction worker, died at Elmhurst Hospital three hours after the stabbing.No arrests have been made in the two shootings or Zimonjic's stabbing, police said.

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