WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Three men have been arrested on charges they chased down a 24-year-old Washington Heights man, beat him with a stick and stabbed him to death following a bar brawl.
Anthony DeJesus, 17, of Harlem, and Rafi Hidalgo, 23, and Robert Urena, 28, both of Washington Heights, were arrested by the 34th Precinct Detective Squad Thursday and charged with murder and gang assault in the April 11 death of 24-year-old Jonathan Delarosa, according to a criminal complaint.
Delarosa had been drinking at a bar on St. Nicholas Avenue near 182nd Street to celebrate a friend's return from the military when he got into a fight with Carlin Batista, according to the complaint.
According to Hidalgo, he and Urena came to the club after receiving a call from Batista, who stated "he was in trouble and that a guy who had jumped him previously was at the club."
Batista's friends, DeJesus, Hidalgo, and Urena, then got involved in the brawl, and Urena pushed Delarosa onto the ground, according to the complaint.
As Delarosa tried to flee, DeJesus punched him in the face and chased after him with his friends, telling police that he knew there was about to be a "beat down," according to the complaint.
While DeJesus punched Delarosa, Urena stabbed him with a knife, and Batista beat him with a wooden stick, according to the complaint. Hidalgo was also part of the assault, according to the complaint.
Delarosa tried to get away from the group, rising up from the assault clutching his chest, but he was later found on the ground at the corner of West 182nd Street near Audubon Avenue at 4:30 a.m., dead of a punctured heart and lung, according to the complaint.
Video surveillance showed Delarosa being chased by a group of eight to 10 people before they turned a corner where he was pummeled with a stick before he was stabbed to death and left on the sidewalk, police said.
DeJesus was arraigned Thursday and ordered held without bail at Rikers Island, according to the Department of Corrections. Urena and Hidalgo were arraigned Friday and held without bail, according to court documents. It was not immediately clear whether Batista was in custody.
Members of Delarosa’s family said they were relieved to know his alleged attackers had been apprehended and said they would not rest until everyone had been brought to justice.
“We are going to fill that court room, fill the streets,” said Delarosa’s aunt, Daysi Polanco. “We need the maximum penalty. We don’t want them to walk.”