Thursday, August 5, 2010

Arrest Made in Fatal Stabbing at Woodhaven Subway Station

A memorial set up at the 85th Street train station where the stabbing took place is marked with flowers, candles, and messages from loved ones.

By Patricia Adams

Five days after the fatal stabbing death of 27-year-old Woodhaven resident Dario Paiva, another Queens man, Benjamin Moreira, 19, of Elmhurst is in custody charged with his murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

The deadly attack occurred on Friday night when the victim’s mother asked Dario Paiva to go to the aid of his younger brother Khristian. Norma Paiva had been on the phone with her younger son who had called her after returning some films to a neighborhood video store. During the conversation it became apparent that Khristian was in trouble. He told his mother someone had hit him. "I was like, 'Oh my God, Dario. They're hitting Khristian,” said the 60- year-old mother. “So he run, he run like he never did."

When he came upon his brother at Jamaica Avenue near 85th Street, the attackers had headed for the elevated train at 85th Street and Forest Parkway. Paiva followed them up the stairs. Police officials say there could have been as many as four men and two women.

The band of thugs allegedly turned to Paiva and flashed yellow and black beads—a sign they were members of the Latin Kings gang—before they rushed him with knives. Benjamin Moreira is believed to be the attacker who delivered the fatal stab wound to his neck.

"My brother was trying to keep them away from me, and when we got to the top of the stairs, they stabbed him," a tearful Khristian Paiva told reporters. “I tried my best to save him. I did everything I could.” Dario Paiva was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The victim was working in construction and had plans to transfer from a community college to attend Queens College—the same school as his brother. He dreamed of becoming a lawyer according to a friend who stopped at the flower memorial erected at the foot of the train station entrance. “I know him for almost six years. He was all about his family. He was a good brother, a good son—a good man.”

Friends of the family say it will be very hard for Dante and Norma Paiva to overcome this tragic loss, especially since another sibling was killed in a car accident in recent years.

A funeral mass will be held at the church of Holy Child Jesus in Ozone Park at 9:45 a.m. on Friday.

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