17-year old Arrested in Stabbing Death on Hester Street
The New York Times is reporting tonight that a 17-year old, Victor Fong, has been arrested in connection with the November 18th stabbing death of another teen outside a school at 100 Hester Street (near Forsyth).
Nelson Rafael Pena, an 18-year old, and another man whose name has not been released, were rushed to Bellevue Hospital. Pena died a short time later. According to the Times, Fong (of 265 Cherry Street) surrendered at the 5th Precinct on Monday, and was charged with second degree murder:
Investigators said that Mr. Pena and his friend, whose name was not
released, were walking near Hester and Forsyth Streets about 6 p.m.
when they were approached by two men who had confronted them a short
time earlier. Mr. Pena’s relatives said they had learned that the
assailants were upset “over a look.” The police said on Saturday
that the men knew one another through people in the area, and that a
dispute was behind the stabbing. Previously, the police said the
assaults were not gang-related.
Relatives said Pena grew up on Broome Street near the 7th Precinct, the middle child in a family with 7 children:
His mother, Nilsa Vasquez, said he had been working at a Foot
Locker in SoHo for about a year and loved the job because he was
athletic. She said that neither her son nor his friend knew their attackers. “My son doesn’t carry weapons,” Ms. Vasquez said in an interview. “He never had a chance to defend himself. He was a good kid.” As of Saturday, investigators had not recovered any weapons, the police said. A
woman who answered the phone at the Fong residence and identified
herself as May Chow, Mr. Fong’s mother, said, “He’s a good boy, a very,
very good boy.”
100 Hester Street is the home of Intermediate School 131, Pace High School and the Chinatown YMCA's Beacon Center. Fong will appear in court on Wednesday. Counselors working with teens in the neighborhood have been told the dispute is related to a long-simmering feud among rival gangs.