Queens jurors convicted three alleged street gang members for their roles in a violent attack of a rival outside a Jackson Heights bar back in October 2016, prosecutors announced on Thursday.
Michael Aragundi, 21, of Jamaica, Luis Mayancela, 23, of Astoria and Luis Minchala, 28, of Jackson Heights were found guilty on April 24 of first-degree assault, first- and second-degree robbery and first- and second-degree assault. The jury’s verdict came after a 2 1/2 week-long trial, according to Chief Assistant District Attorney John Ryan.
Even so, only Aragundi and Mayancela were in the court room on Wednesday to face the music; Ryan said that Minchala fled Queens on the eve of the trial’s closing arguments. The NYPD Warrant Squad is now looking for him.
According to prosecutors, Minchala, while acting as a gang boss, ordered Aragundi, Mayancela and several other reputed Latin King members to attack the 24-year-old man outside of the El Paisa bar, located at 87-05 Northern Blvd., on Oct. 29, 2016.
“The defendants cornered and attacked the victim in front of a bar,” Ryan said in an April 25 statement. “The victim sustained a series of severe stab wounds during the assault and continues to suffer from nerve damage as a result of the beating he endured.”
Law enforcement sources said the gang members attacked the victim with a knife and cane, as well as their fists. Minchala didn’t participate in the assault, but watched it unfold, prosecutors noted.
The group of gangsters fled the scene moments later, leaving the victim with 11 stab wounds. Paramedics rushed him to a local hospital for treatment of various lacerations to his head, neck, arm and other extremities. The knife wounds to one of the victim’s arms was so bad that it caused permanent nerve damage.
Aragundi and Mayancela must return to court on May 16 for sentencing; they each face up to 25 years behind bars.
Meanwhile, two others involved in the Jackson Heights assault — Jonathan Duy and Wilson Matute — previously pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder, and are also awaiting sentencing.