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Jamaica shelter resident charged with murder in park slaying

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A Jamaica man was indicted by a Queens grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on charges of murder and other crimes in connection with the fatal stabbing of a resident of the Garden Inn Suites shelter on Baisley Boulevard last month, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Jose Reyes, 28, got in a physical altercation with fellow shelter resident Ishmael Harvey shortly after 10 p.m. in front of the facility on March 17.

A third man, who worked at the hotel that is being used as a homeless shelter, attempted to break up the fight when Reyes pulled a “shiny, sharp object from his pants’ waistband” and began swinging it, striking the employee in the leg, according to the charges. Two of the victim’s co-workers saw that he was bleeding and dragged him inside the motel

The altercation between Reyes and the 33-year-old victim continued in a park across the street from the shelter. An eyewitness allegedly observed Reyes as he left the park and walked to the front of the shelter, his clothes allegedly covered in blood.

The same eyewitness allegedly saw Harvey rolling on the ground inside the park. He, too, was soaked in blood, according to the charges.

Both the hotel worker and Harvey were rushed to a nearby hospital, where Harvey, who sustained four stab wounds to his back and one puncture wound to his neck, was pronounced dead. The hotel employee was treated for a slash to his left thigh and released.

Reyes was arrested in front of the hotel. Police recovered a knife, allegedly from Reyes’ left jacket pocket and a box cutter was recovered from the park.

“A dispute should never rise to the level of bloodshed,” Katz said. “The defendant in this case styled an argument by pulling out a blade and allegedly stabbed to death one man and injured another who was simply trying to stop the violence.”

Reyes was arraigned April 21 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder on an indictment charging him with murder in the second degree, assault in the second degree and criminal possession in the fourth degree. The defendant was held without bail and ordered to return to court June 30.

If convicted, Reyes faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison.

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