A few days ago, we reported that Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, had reported its 500th murder of the year in a case of domestic violence.
But Philadelphia isn't the only major American city grappling with a surge in violence. NYC, Philadelphia's coastal neighbor, has also seen a surge in violent crime in the nearly two years since the start of the pandemic, as we have repeatedly reported.
Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio seems more than happy to let his successor, Mayor-elect Eric Adams, a former police officer and Brooklyn Borough President, deal with the city's new crime problem. But as overall crime has continued to rise after last year's surge (while murders have declined only slightly from last year's extremely elevated rate), a gruesome stabbing in Brooklyn has captured the city's attention.
40-year-old Ernest Diaz was found dead late last week outside the lobby of an apartment building on 99th Street in the neighborhood of Bay Ridge. Surveillance footage was enough for police investigating the killing to arrest 56-year-old Vitor Bauza, who was charged Saturday with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
Diaz reportedly lived with Bauza, who initially fled the scene, before turning himself in to the police the following day.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Edgar Walker ordered Bauza to be held without bail until his next court appearance on December 3. Speaking outside of a Brooklyn courthouse on Sunday, Bauza's lawyer Arthur Aidala confirmed that his client had known Diaz 'for a very, very long time,' and called the gruesome murder 'an aberration' and 'so out of character for him.
CCTV video of the attack was posted online by the Daily Mail:
Prab Singh, 31, who runs a liquor store nearby, told the New York Daily News that Diaz exited the apartment building naked and covered in blood after being stabbed in the foyer.
"I looked outside and the guy was just sitting at the front door covered in blood, just red all over," Singh said. "One of our clients called the police and ran to help him and bring him back inside, but was unsuccessful when she tried to move him." 'came out from the apartment building naked.'