In a shocking incident, a Manhattan tenant faces murder charges. He has been accused of a hate crime after fatally stabbing his Hispanic roommate. Hosameldin Ismail, 34, allegedly slit the throat of 55-year-old Maximito Polanco-Parra at least 47 times during an unprovoked attack inside their shared apartment on May 30. Prosecutors say the killing was captured on video. Ismail has been charged with murder and weapon possession.
According to court papers, Ismail made chilling comments caught on video using an anti-Hispanic slur. During his arrest, he was also captured on video saying that he committed a similar crime on a train. It is unclear if investigators believe Ismail could be connected to any unsolved subway stabbings.
Ismail had been renting a room in Polanco-Parra’s place for about a month. Cops initially took two suspects in for questioning at the scene but cut the second man loose after their focus shifted to Ismail. Ismail has seven prior arrests, including for robbery, with five sealed. He has not previously been accused of a hate crime.
During his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court, Ismail pleaded not guilty to the charges he received. The source said Ismail appears to have mental health issues.
Luisa Paez, 33, one of Polanco’s next-door neighbors, previously told the Daily News a strange man had been menacing residents in the days before the slaying, demanding access to their apartments so he could then gain entry to the victim’s unit.
The incident has sparked outrage and concern over hate crimes in the city. The police are investigating the case further to determine if there are any other victims of Ismail’s violent attacks.
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