By Christina Santucci
Instead of celebrating his son’s birthday, a heartbroken father in South Ozone Park had to plan a funeral.
On Friday, 19-year-old D’Anthony McDonald was stabbed to death around the corner from his family’s home. It was the day before he would have turned 20.
“He was killed right here, right in front of my house,” said McDonald’s father, Erick Anderson.
Viewing times are scheduled for between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday at Cassese Funeral Home, at 101-07 101st Ave. in Ozone Park.
On Tuesday, police said 19-year-old Wilson Rivera, who lived about three blocks away from where the stabbing took place, was arrested and charged in McDonald’s death. Rivera was ordered held without bail and his next court date is July 3, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.
Last week police were called to Linden Boulevard near 129th Street, where they found McDonald with a stab wound to the chest.
A neighbor who asked not to be identified said she had heard a commotion and when she looked out into the street, she saw a man wearing a white sweater and shorts run up to McDonald, strike him and run away. She never saw his face, she said.
McDonald tried to chase his attacker before collapsing on Linden Boulevard as frantic neighbors called 911 and rushed to alert the teen’s parents, the woman said.
“Apparently he had an altercation outside with another young man, and this man stabbed him in the heart,” Anderson said.
After a neighbor ran to the family’s home, Anderson rushed to his son.
“I picked him up. He looked in my eyes. He stared at me. He was scared, so scared,” Anderson said.
A registered nurse, Anderson put pressure on the wound and began administering CPR.
“He breathed his last breath into my mouth,” the heartbroken father said. “I knew he was gone.”
After an ambulance arrived, McDonald was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police and his family said.
Sitting in the family’s backyard Saturday afternoon alongside a makeshift shrine featuring a framed photo and sneakers, Anderson recalled that his mother-in-law had a foreboding dream about McDonald the night before.
“My wife kept calling him all day, ‘Where are you? What are you doing?’” he said, explaining that his son replied, “Don’t worry, Mom. I’m in the neighborhood.”
A graduate of Forest Hills High School, McDonald had a passion for photography and had hoped to become a U.S. marine, after his cousin signed up with the U.S. Air Force and his best friend became a Devil Dog, the nickname for a U.S. Marine.
“He never got to be one of them,” Anderson said, breaking down. “He was such an amazing boy. The nicest kid you ever met.”
The oldest of four siblings, McDonald had many friends, who are devastated by his death, according to his father.
Anderson is asking that those close to his son try to forgive those responsible for his death and forget any ideas of retaliation.
“One boy’s life is gone. One boy’s life is ruined and I don’t want his friends to do anything stupid,” Anderson pleaded. “I’m trying to give them a message of forgiveness.”
Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4589.