FIGHT BETWEEN TWO SHELTER RESIDENTS ENDS WITH ONE DEAD AND THE OTHER CHARGED WITH MURDER; GOOD SAMARITAN INJURED TRYING TO BREAK UP BRAWL
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Jose Reyes, 28, has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on charges of murder and other crimes for allegedly stabbing to death a resident of the Garden Inn Suites in Queens on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. A Good Samaritan who works at the shelter was stabbed in the leg when he tried to separate the two men.
District Attorney Katz said, “A dispute should never rise to the level of bloodshed. The defendant in this case settled 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, of Baisley Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens, was arraigned yesterday 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 of a weapon in the fourth degree. Justice Holder held the defendant without bail and ordered that he return to Court on June 30, 2021. If convicted, Reyes faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison.
District Attorney Katz said, shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, Reyes and the victim, Ishmael Harvey, became embroiled in a physical altercation in front of the Garden Inn and Suites, where both men lived. A third man, who worked at the Baisley Boulevard hotel being used as a homeless shelter, attempted to break up the fight when the defendant allegedly pulled out a shiny, sharp object from his pants’ waistband and began swinging it, striking the employee on the leg. Two of this victim’s co-workers saw he was bleeding and dragged him inside the establishment.
According to the charges, the altercation between Reyes and the 33-year-old victim continued in the park across the street from the hotel/shelter. The defendant was then observed by an eyewitness leaving the park and walking back to the front of the hotel, his clothes allegedly covered in blood. That same eyewitness also saw Mr. Harvey rolling on the ground inside the park. He, too, was soaked in blood.
Both the hotel worker and Mr. Harvey were rushed to a local Queens hospital. Mr. 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.
Defendant Reyes was immediately apprehended by police officers in front of the hotel. At the time of the arrest, police officers recovered a knife, allegedly from the defendant’s left jacket pocket. A box cutter was recovered from the park.
The investigation was conducted by the New York Police Department’s 113th Precinct Detective Squad.
Assistant District Attorney Franchesca Basso, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Joshua Garland, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, are prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John W. Kosinski and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chiefs and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.