Violent Ex-Con Suspected in Knife Attacks Charged With Murder, Police Say
WILLIAMSBURG — The violent ex-convict suspected in several knife attacks across the city, including the murder of a 6-year-old boy and an assault on a 7-year-old girl in East New York, was charged with murder and assault Thursday night, police said.
Daniel St. Hubert, 27, stabbed and killed Prince Joshua "P.J." Avitto, 6, and critically injured Mikayla Capers, 7, in an East New York elevator Sunday evening as the children were headed to get ice cream, police said.
He allegedly told the kids to "shut up" before stabbing them, the NYPD said.
St. Hubert was charged with second degree murder, attempted murder, weapons possession, assault and vandalism, police said. Arresting officers saw him writing something — police did not specify— on a stop sign just before he was arrested, according to the NYPD.
The stabbings took place about a week and a half after the suspect was released from prison for attempted murder for trying to choke his mother in 2009 with an electrical cord, according to court records. During that time he was transferred to the care of the State Office of Mental Health three times, jail officials said.
Investigators were able to link St. Hubert to the crime through DNA evidence found on a Dura Edge kitchen knife found at the scene, police said.
Mikayla was able to describe the suspect enough for police to draft a composite sketch for a wanted poster, but the investigation was hampered by the lack of surveillance cameras in the Boulevard Houses where the attack occurred.
That prompted the city Department of Investigations to begin a system-wide investigation into the efficiency and adequacy of camera installation in the public housing system, a person familiar with the probe said.
Police are also working on the theory that St. Hubert is responsible for a fatal May 30 knife attack on 18-year-old nursing student Tanaya Copeland, near the Boulevard Houses and the Wednesday morning attack on a homeless man in Chelsea, sources said.
State prison records show that St. Hubert was put in solitary confinement twice during his prison term, once for assaulting a corrections officer in March 2013 and for having a weapon in October 2012, records show.