By Carla Zanoni and Wil Cruz
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A wild melee outside a St. Nicholas Avenue bar turned deadly when a 24-year-old man was stabbed to death early Wednesday, police said.
Jonathan Delarosa was in the thick of a brawl in front of an undetermined bar near West 182nd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue when cops were called about 4:30 a.m., police said.
At some point, Delarosa was stabbed in the chest after being chased by a group of people, sources said.
He was later found by cops about a block away on Audubon Avenue, said Deputy Inspector Barry Buzzetti, commanding officer of the 34th Precinct.
"We responded to 182nd [and] Audubon and found the male stabbed," he said. "He was pronounced [dead on arrival] at the scene."
Buzzetti said the investigation is ongoing; there have been no arrests.
Ramon Sanchez, a 40-year resident of the area, said late night and early morning violence and crime continue to plague the area.
Arsene Epouta, 40, a bouncer working at La Casa Del Mofongo on St. Nicholas Avenue near West 182nd Street, was stabbed to death on Oct. 27, 2009. Two men were convicted in his killing earlier this year.
Sanchez, a native of the Dominican Republic who has two children in their 20s, said problems will continue to occur nearby until the community joins together to bring it to an end.
“The community has a disaster on its hands with delinquents making a mess at night and nobody in the community doing anything about it,” he said. “The police acts, but the community protects the people who are doing something wrong.”
He feels the bars on the corner should be shut down.
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez pledged to continue working with the police department and community to identify hot spots in the community where violence and crime is known to occur.
“We cannot allow violence to once again saturate our community as it did 20 years ago,” he said in a public statement.
“While we cannot bring back the life that was taken this morning, I am calling on the community to come together to find ways to prevent future violence."