Woodside man becomes second suspect to be charged in fatal beating of young Corona father

Second man charged with murder in the fatal beating of a young father at a Junction Boulevard gas station in Corona last month. (Lloyd Mitchell/File)

A Woodside man was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder and other crimes in the beating death of a 22-year-old Guatemalan immigrant in Corona last month.

Homicide detectives apprehended 28-year-old Fabian Tenelema at his place of employment and took him to the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst, where he was interrogated and subsequently arrested and booked on murder charges in the killing of Esvin Vasquez, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

Tenelema, who lives on 68th Street a half block south of Hart Playground near the BQE, is the second man to be charged in the homicide investigation.

Michael Santander, 20, of 39th Avenue in Corona, was arraigned on Nov. 30 in Queens Criminal Court on a complaint charging him with murder, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly bludgeoning Vasquez with a wooden board. Santander faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

During the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 13, Santander and Tenelema were allegedly part of a large group of men that surrounded Vasquez in front of a Junction Boulevard gas station near the intersection of 44th Avenue near his home. Video surveillance footage shows Santander and the group of men knocking Vasquez to the ground and then kicking him repeatedly in the head and body. Santander is seen picking up a wooden board and striking Vasquez in the head, causing his death. Santander proceeded to use the lumber to beat a second victim, who suffered multiple broken ribs and “substantial pain,” according to the criminal complaint.

Police from the 110th Precinct responded to a 911 call of an assault in progress and found Vasquez, the father of a 1-year-old boy, lying on the ground with a severe head injury. According to the NYPD, EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed Vasquez to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives from the NYPD’s Regional Fugitive Task Force took Santander into custody on Tuesday, Nov. 29. It is unclear what role Tenelema played in the murder of Vasquez, according to the NYPD spokeswoman.

In addition to the murder charge, Tenelema was also charged with attempted murder, manslaughter, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.