By Kelsey Durham
Bell Boulevard, which draws crowds of revelers who visit the bars and restaurants on summer nights, was rocked by a brutal stabbing late last week.
A Whitestone man was charged with attempted murder last week after he allegedly slit a man’s throat before stabbing him multiple times during a fight at a Bayside bar, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Authorities said Curtis Ward, 29, was arrested Aug. 22 in connection with an incident at Safari Beach Club, at 40-05 Bell Blvd., in which a man was left in critical condition after an altercation turned violent.
Ward was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of assault, the DA said
According to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens DA, Ward got into a verbal dispute with a 34-year-old man some time between 12:40 a.m. and 12:55 a.m. last Friday morning and was asked by a bouncer to leave the bar.
Ward allegedly left but returned soon after and approached the victim, grabbing him by the head and slitting his throat, according to the DA.
The complaint said Ward used the phrase “no respect” while he attacked the victim.
The DA said Ward continued to stab the man multiple times in his torso after he fell to the ground. The victim, who was not identified, was taken to New York Hospital Queens, where he received 70 stitches to his neck and 100 stitches to his torso, the DA said.
The victim also needed surgery to reattach the tip of his ring finger on his right hand, according to the complaint, and to repair damage to a punctured spleen as a result of the stabbing.
The first reports of the stabbing on the TimesLedger Newspapers website set off a firestorm on social media, and many of the commenters appeared to know the accused.
The DA’s complaint said that when the defendant was shown surveillance video from the night of the attack, he allegedly said it was him on the tape.
A man speaking on behalf of the Safari Beach Club, who wished to remain anonymous, said this week that the stabbing was an isolated incident and a rare outburst of violence at the bar.
According to the NYPD, the 111th Precinct in Bayside has recorded just one more felony assault this year than during the same time in 2013, up to 40 from 39 the year before. The precinct has not had a murder case this year or last.
Ward was arraigned Saturday and was due back in Queens Criminal Court Sept. 5, the DA said.
Back in June 1992 Patrick Bannon, a bouncer at the then-Palm Club on Bell Boulevard, shot and killed an off-duty city housing police officer who was trying to break up a fight and murdered another man in the same brawl.
Many clubs and bars on the strip, which was known around the city as a hotspot, closed their doors after the shootings, but in recent years Bell Boulevard has staged a strong comeback with many new restaurants and bars opening up.
Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at kdurh[email protected]glocal.com.