By Bill Parry
A Corona man was arrested and charged with the murder of a 22-year-old Florida man who was visiting LeFrak City where he was born and raised, police said.
The NYPD arrested Ronald O’Neil, 23, a LeFrak City resident, for allegedly attacking Hakeem Griffin Feb. 28 outside Vinny’s Pizza & Pasta near the corner of 57th Ave. and 92nd St. in Corona.
Officers from the 110th Precinct were on patrol in the vicinity when they heard a man yell out in distress and then fall to the ground, according to the NYPD.
When the officers went over to investigate, they found Griffin unresponsive with stab wounds to his neck, face and torso, police said. EMS were called to the scene, and the victim was transported to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead, police said.
A police spokesman said the trouble began as a dispute between the 22-year-old and another man. Video surveillance from various locations captured the defendant O’Neil, wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt with a white insignia, follow Griffin around the corner just before 8 p.m., when Griffin can be seen stumbling back onto 57th Avenue, where he falls to the ground, according to the criminal complaint. O’Neil is then seen running from the location with what appears to be a knife.
A witness told police he saw O’Neil grab Griffin’s shoulder with his right hand while stabbing him with his left hand before fleeing north on 97th Street. The NYPD executed a search warrant at O’Neil’s LeFrak City apartment on the Horace Harding Expressway last Friday, where they discovered the sweatshirt with the white insignia, black sneakers with what appeared to be blood on them and a knife, according to the criminal complaint.
O’Neil was charged with murder in the second-degree and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr