By COLlive reporter
Only hours before an event is to take place to update the community on progress on the investigation into a recent violent stabbing, the NYPD announced that they have made an arrest in the case.
The New York Police Department and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office have announced they are moving forward with charging a man with the stabbings of at least 3 people – including a Jewish man in Crown Heights.
Community activist Chanina Sperlin told COLlive.com he received the notice about the case on Thursday afternoon from James O’Neill, the NYPD’s Chief of Department.
“The person they are charging is an African-American male who was involved in the stabbing of 2 people on Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand on Wednesday,” Sperlin said.
Police sources identified the man as 26-year-old Kenny Rochelin. He was arrested for allegedly slashing two people in separate incidents in Prospect Park on Wednesday night, police said.
In the first incident, Rochelin attacked a 30-year-old man who was jogging in the park around 11:30 p.m. The victim suffered some defensive wounds as he tried to block the blade and the attacker ran off, the NY Post reported.
A short time later, Rochelin approached a 43-year-old man walking in the park near Parkside and Ocean avenues and stabbed him in the stomach. He then took the man’s wallet and fled.
Both victims were taken to Kings County Hospital and are expected to survive.
Rochelin, who lives in a shelter on the Upper West Side, was later arrested and charged with robbery, assault and possession of a weapon, police said.
He was also charged with attempted murder and aggravated harassment as a hate crime in connection with the stabbing of 25-year-old Leiby Brikman on Empire Blvd. in Crown Heights on February 10.
“He admitted to the stabbing of Brikman,” Sperlin said, following conversations with Chief O’Neill, NYPD Brooklyn South Chief Steven Powers and Deputy Inspector Norman Grandstaff, the new Commanding Officer of the 71st Precinct.
“I hope the DA will stay strong and give this man a very strong prosecution so that this don’t happen again in Crown Heights or anywhere else in the city,” said Sperlin, who is the intergovernmental liaison for the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.
It appears to be that the man being charged now is not the same man the police originally suspected and claimed to have identified.
COLlive was informed that tonight’s event for information and updates about the stabbings will still be taking place.
The Brikman and Katz families, relatives of both recent victims, are requesting the community show up to participate in this event and show a united community in the concern for the safety and security of our neighborhood.
The event will take place tonight, Thursday at the Jewish Children’s Museum at 7:00 pm.