A New York City deli worker was fatally stabbed in an argument with a customer who wanted store credit, according to the victim’s family.
Police responded to a 911 call about an ongoing theft shortly after 11:30 p.m. at a grocery store in East Harlem, police said. Officers arrived and found a 34-year-old man with a stab wound to the chest outside the store.
NEW YORKERS SOUND THE ALARM ON CRIME RATES: ‘THE WILD, WILD WEST’
The victim was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. His identity was not immediately disclosed, pending notification from the family.
The victim’s family told WABC-TV that the dispute began after the worker refused the customer’s store credit application.
“He had an argument with this client,” the victim’s cousin, Mohamed Zokari, told the radio. “Then the fight ended, and the client had a knife on him. He was stabbed in the side.”
Police said a preliminary investigation determined the employee clashed with a male customer inside the store before the altercation spilled over onto the sidewalk. The argument escalated and the victim was stabbed with an unknown object.
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The suspect fled the scene heading east on East 102 Street, police said. It was not immediately clear whether any property had been stolen, as police continue to investigate the incident.
Globally criminality increased by almost 3% in September 2021 compared to September 2020, and thefts increased by 6%, according to New York City Police Department Data.
The largest increase in New York was in criminal assaults – or assaults with a dangerous weapon – which jumped nearly 19%, from 1,802 in September 2020 to 2,135 in September 2021.