Daniel St. Hubert, 27, was arrested Wednesday at 8 p.m. as a suspect in the elevator stabbing of two children Mikayla Capers, 7, and Prince Joshua Avitto, 6, -- the boy died from the wounds. The New York man was out on parole for a domestic assault case when detectives detained him. Hubert has been arrested nine times before. It is also believed that he is tied to another fatal stabbing that happened a few days before.
Avitto and Capers, of East New York, Brooklyn, were on there way to get ice cream when an unidentified man stabbed the two children inside an elevator last Sunday.
“That mother lost a child, but we all lost a child,” said Clara Woods, the vice president of the Boulevard Houses Tenant Association, at a news conference.
“This is a happy little boy. This is a pleasant little girl. They were going to get an Icee on a nice warm day,” she said in disbelief. “When something happens to one, it happens to us all.”
A massive manhunt was launched on Monday and a sketch of the suspect — believed to be a heavyset man in his 20s — has been released. Prince’s father, Nicholas Avitto, told reporters that he “definitely” recognized the man, claiming that he was a homeless man who had received meals from his building’s neighbors in the past.
Police have pointed to similarities between the stabbing of the two children and the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old resident Tanaya Grant on May 30.
"This is a particularly heinous crime," NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said. "Two young children in an elevator with no place to escape, nothing at all, and some character gets on and just starts stabbing them? ... [Residents] have every right to be concerned.”
The New York Daily News reports that despite the New York City Housing Authority’s one-year-old allocation of $500,000 to place security cameras in the building, none were installed. The reason for the delay remains unclear.
“Even as recently as of March or April, they were still talking about where they were going to put the cameras,” said City Councilwoman Inez Barron, whose district includes Boulevard Houses. “It certainly is a tragedy that they were not in. Unfortunately, this incident occurred, but we hope that this is the spark to get it done immediately.”
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(Photo: AP Photo/New York State Department of Corrections)