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Astoria man arrested in stabbing at apartment above hookah cafe: Police

Astoria man arrested in stabbing at apartment above hookah cafe: Police
By Steve Mosco

Police arrested an Astoria man in the stabbing death of 28-year-old man in an apartment above a Steinway Street hookah cafe Friday night, the NYPD said.

According to police, Wahid Elawame, 35, was arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the stabbing that occurred at his apartment around 11:30 p.m.

Elawame allegedly stabbed the victim after an altercation during a gathering with two other men, according to police at the 114th Precinct.

Police said the 28-year-old victim, whose name was being withheld until his family was notified, was taken with a stab wound in the torso to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The incident occurred on the third floor of an apartment building above Layali Beirut, a lounge at 25-60 Steinway St.

The owner of the lounge, Mohamed Mohamed, said he shared the apartment with the Elawame and two other men.

“He [Elawame] didn’t have the right frame of mind,” said Mohamed, 53, who alleged the suspect was an alcoholic.

Mohamed said that Elawame had been in the apartment with a friend and the two other roommates Friday night, while Mohamed was working.

After hearing two loud crashes on the roof of Layali Beirut, Mohamed said he went outside and saw that two of his roommates had fled from the third floor apartment by jumping out the window.

“They jumped out to get away,” he said. “They said he [Elawame] stabbed the man.”

Antonia Grancelli, 20, lives on the second floor and heard someone scream at the time of the murder.

“A man jumped from the window crying and screaming, ‘he’s getting killed,’” she said. “One of the guys who jumped was holding his arm like it was broken. My sister called the police.”

Police said they took a suspect into custody early Saturday morning and identified Elawame as the man who had been arrested later in the afternoon.

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