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Latin Kings Member Held for Stabbing Woodhaven Teen, Sources Say

By  Murray Weiss and Aidan Gardiner | August 5, 2013 12:22pm | Updated on August 5, 2013 4:22pm

 Natasha Martinez was stabbed steps from her Woodhaven home.
Natasha Martinez was stabbed steps from her Woodhaven home.
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NEW YORK CITY — A week after Natasha Martinez, 17, was viciously stabbed steps from her Woodhaven home after a night shift at McDonald's, investigators were questioning a member of the Latin Kings gang Monday, sources said.

The alleged gang member was taken to the 102nd Precinct stationhouse Monday morning and was not immediately arrested, an NYPD spokesman said.

The stabbing may have stemmed from a prior dispute between Natasha and a co-worker with connections to the Latin Kings, sources said.

A gang member may have been asked to retaliate for the scorned co-worker, sources said.

Natasha had reached her 85th Street home about 11:30 p.m. last Monday when a man in a hooded sweatshirt stabbed her 11 times in what sources described as an ambush, the NYPD said at the time.

Natasha's mother, Wendy Martinez, was drawn outside by her daughter's screams, she told the Daily News. Martinez tried to stanch the flow of her daughter's blood while EMS raced to the scene, the paper reported.

"Her body was full of holes," Martinez told the newspaper. "Her face was turning white, and I slapped her. I was telling her, 'You have to stay alive.'"

The teenage victim was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition, police said.

Cops found a bloody, 6-inch kitchen knife in the lobby of her building, sources said.

Investigators released surveillance footage taken from the area about the time of the stabbing.

On Monday, they identified the man in the footage and took him into custody, but he had yet to be arrested because Natasha was attacked from behind and couldn't say whether the man in custody was the one who stabbed her, sources said.

Because the attack's motive wasn't readily apparent, they speculated that it may have been connected to a similar un-solved stabbing in June

Sources said that the two stabbings appear to be unrelated.