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Man stabbed on troubled Woodhaven corner

By Gabriel Rom

A troubled corner of Woodhaven again erupted in violence last week, when a 24-year-old man was stabbed in the neck by a group of unknown men, police said. A police source said the assault might have been gang-related.

The victim remained in stable but critical condition as of Wednesday night at an area hospital, police said.

He was found bleeding in front of Scaturro’s Food Market at 84-39 Jamaica Ave. March 2, but police said the stabbing occurred in front of a bodega on 84th Street and Jamaica Avenue. Police said five to six males approached the victim, conversed with him, then stabbed him twice in the neck.

According to Inspector Deodat Urprasad of the 102nd Precinct, fast responding officers were able to save the man’s life.

No arrests have been made and the investigation was ongoing.

The incident comes only 12 days after a 39-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman were shot inside the Rico Chimi hamburger restaurant located at 80-01 Atlantic Ave.

Lt. Estrella of the 102nd Precinct said police were looking for an individual who came from Brooklyn and that the restaurant shooting was likely related to gang activity or a personal dispute.

“This was premeditated,” he said at the February Woodhaven Residents Block Association meeting. “The suspect went after a specific person.”

In 2010, directly above the scene of the latest crime, Dario Paiva was fatally stabbed on an elevated subway platform at the 85th Street-Forest Parkway station on the J line.

Three years later, Natasha Martinez was stabbed on 85th Street in a suspected gang attack.

Both incidents occurred within a one-block radius of the March 2 attack.

Estrella said the precinct has had recent success in combating gang activity within Woodhaven. There are two active gangs in the area known to police, he said, and both of them have large numbers of members who have recently been incarcerated.

“All my units day and night know who the guys are that are a part of this problem,” he said

As for other petty crime problems, including graffiti and harassment around Jamaica Avenue and the overpass at Atlantic Avenue, Estrella said the cause is mostly young kids.

“The only way we can prevent that is from the home. The parents have to be more in their children’s lives. It’s the only way to get them off the street, because they get influenced by the wrong kids on the street.”

In an effort to combat crime and target graffiti the 102nd Precinct requested 12 Argus cameras from the city, two of which would be placed along Jamaica and Atlantic Avenues, Woodhaven’s main graffiti locations. The funding for the cameras, however, is not guaranteed.

“They’re cutting budgets everywhere,” Estrella said. “We requested it, we’re just hoping that we get it.”

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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