Three charged with fatal Corona stabbing

By Rebecca Henely

Police said three men, one only 17 years old, have been arrested and charged in connection with a fatal stabbing in front of an Ecuadorian restaurant in Corona early Sunday morning, police said.

Authorities said the brutal attack left a 20-year-old man dead and another 23-year-old man injured.

The NYPD announced Monday that 27-year-old Jesus Astimbay, of 58th Street and 31st Avenue in Woodside, had been charged with manslaughter, gang assault, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Two other men, 26-year-old Juan Guanaquesa, who lives at Northern Boulevard and 98th Street in Corona, and 17-year-old John Espinoza, who lives at 10th Street near 38th Avenue in Long Island City, were both charged with gang assault, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

The names of the victims have not yet been released.

Police said they received a call at 4:28 a.m. Sunday about a man stabbed near Manila Bar & Restaurant at 104-21 Roosevelt Ave. in Corona, less than a block away from the 103rd Street-Corona Plaza stop on the No. 7 train. Officers found a Hispanic man, 20, with two stab wounds in his chest and another Hispanic man, 23, with stab wounds on his chest and back, police said.

Emergency responders who arrived at the scene brought both victims to Elmhurst Hospital Center, police said. The 20-year-old man was pronounced dead at the hospital, although the other victim was in stable condition, police said.

Police had barricaded off the area near the restaurant hours after the incident. Adjacent to the restaurant near an empty lot lay a pair of white Adidas sneakers with red stripes and laces, a blue Los Angeles Dodgers hat, and white and purple rubber gloves.

Residents and employees at nearby businesses said they were either asleep or not working at the time of the slaying and knew very little.

The 115th Precinct had experienced two previous murders in 2012, according to police statistics for the year through July 15. In 2011, four murders had occurred in the precinct.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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