Family mourns S. Jamaica dad

Clinton Forde
Photo courtesy the Forde family
By Joe Anuta

A South Jamaica mother is still reeling after her brother-in-law broke into her home last week and attacked her family, slicing her 1-year-old daughter and killing her fiancee, police said.

Joann Forde is focusing on her children after the bloody incident at 116-38 148th St., where she said Clinton Forde died protecting the family.

“My husband did the right thing,” she said. “He said nobody was going to hurt us.”

At about 7:20 a.m. last Thursday, police received a 911 call and arrived at the house to find Clinton Forde, 29, bleeding from a stab wound to his torso and his 1-year-old daughter Ashley sliced on her throat, according to the NYPD.

The father was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, and Ashley was taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center and later released.

Police arrested 33-year-old Gideon Forde at the scene and charged him with murder, manslaughter, burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, violation of an order of protection and resisting arrest in the slaying of his brother.

In the past, the Forde family had tried to help Gideon Forde get on his feet several times, but ended up filing a restraining order against him.

Last year, they let him stay at the house before he left for Florida to visit his children.

While there, Gideon Forde was arrested on charges of burglary, aggravated assault and resisting arrest May 6, according to the Laurelhill Police Department.

After he returned to New York, Clinton Forde got his brother a room in Brooklyn, but could not keep him away from the household, which is why the restraining order was filed against him, according to Joann Forde. She was supposed to officially tie the knot with Clinton Forde this week.

The mayhem last week started when Gideon Forde kicked down the back door of their house and grabbed a kitchen knife.

His 9-year-old nephew Isaiah was sitting downstairs waiting for the bus to take him to school when he saw his uncle in the house.

Joann Forde said her brother-in-law had a drug problem, and Isaiah saw him licking a MetroCard, which Joann Forde suspected had a controlled substance on it.

Gideon Forde grabbed Isaiah by the jacket and tried to attack him with the knife, but the wily 9-year-old squirmed out of his grasp and ran up the stairs, according to his mother. Isaiah is the oldest of Joann Forde’s six children with Clinton and the youngest is 2 months.

Gideon Forde followed and then turned the knife on 1-year-old Ashley, cutting her on her throat just under her chin, according to her mother.

Ashley’s screams drew Clinton Forde out of his bedroom, where he began wrestling with his brother, trying to force him back down the stairs.

At one point Clinton Forde, who his wife described as religious, yelled, “Jesus loves you. Don’t do this,” she said.

During the scuffle, the kitchen knife plunged between the ribs of Clinton Forde, Joann Forde said.

It was not clear exactly how many of her children were home and witnessed the stabbing, but their mother said not all of them knew what was going on.

“My oldest son understands,” she said. “But my youngest kids don’t.”

After police arrived, Gideon Forde had to be pepper sprayed after he refused to go quietly, according to his sister-in-law.

While Gideon Forde sits in a jail cell waiting his next move in court, Joann Forde is trying to help her family through the crisis.

“I’m trying to be strong for kids and let them know that I’m here for them,” she said.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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