by Caroline McCarthy, Asst. Sports Editor
One person was pronounced dead as a result of the assault near Leo Engineering building on Monday, Feb. 24. The incident reported that a 22-year-old male was stabbed in the neck at 4:30 p.m. at the address of 5869 Broadway.
Brandon Almonte, the victim, was attacked by his co-worker at the Riverdale Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership.
Manhattan College Students received a Jasper 911 alert reading, “A person has been assaulted near RLC and Leo. Stay away from the area. Stay indoors. More information to follow,” minutes after the attack at 4:50 p.m.
Most students with classes in RLC and Leo were instructed by professors to stay home from class and avoid the scene while the New York Police Department responded.
A second alert reading, “NYPD is on the scene. 1 person is in police custody,” was sent to students 20 minutes after the initial message to students, at 5:10 p.m.
53-year-old Jose Almodovar was taken into custody for repeatedly stabbing Almonte, after allegedly mistaking him for a customer in the restricted section of the dealership’s lot.
According to an interview by the New York Daily News, Almonte was photographing vehicles to display on the company’s website. Minutes before the attack, he was returning a vehicle to the lot after bringing it to an off-site location for the shoot.
According to the same report, Almodovar became angry when he saw Almonte park his vehicle in the restricted area, prompting an argument between the two. According to the police at the scene, the perpetrator identified himself as an employee of the dealership who usually worked at another outlet.
In an interview with CBS New York, co-worker Alfred Millington described Almodovar as having a history of being confrontational.
“I don’t know why they didn’t get rid of him a long time ago,” said Millington.
Students received a third Jasper 911 email reading, “MC Alert. This incident is over and being handled by the NYPD,” at 5:44 p.m.
The victim was transported to New York Presbyterian Allen Hospital and pronounced dead later that evening.
Manhattan College students and faculty received a fourth email the day following the incident, providing more details than the original emergency alert. The email confirmed that both the alleged perpetrator and the victim were not members of the Manhattan College community. The email stated that Manhattan College students were witnesses to the event and cooperated with the NYPD.
A memorial of roses now sits at the scene of the crime to remember Brandon Almonte. According to family members he was working at the dealership to save money for pilot school next summer.
Almonte’s sister told CBS New York that the grieving family “wants justice for our family and for Brandon.”