The Bronx man who wounded a woman and stabbed her friend to death over noise from a neighbor’s apartment often terrorized tenants in the building, they told the Daily News.
“We’ve expressed that this man was crazy,” said Justina Cruz, whose apartment was the setting for two violent weekend stabbings. “He would come and he would just argue with us. He would come out [of] his house and make threats and stuff all the time, and he was always arguing.”
Jose Ortiz, 65, was arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court on Sunday on top charges of murder and attempted murder in the attack that left his neighbor wounded and her friend dead inside the building, located on University Ave. near W. 168th St. in University Heights, around 9 p.m. Friday.
Ortiz lost it, pounded on a third-floor apartment door and chased the 39-year-old victim, identified as Vanessa Guzman, into Cruz’s apartment. He stabbed Guzman twice in the torso and arm as neighbor Khadeja Depasqua watched with her 6-year-old son.
“I heard Vanessa scream, so I went to go help her ... he turned around and pointed the knife right at me,” Depasqua told the Daily News on Saturday. “We started screaming ‘Get out! Get out!’”
After he wounded Guzman, he turned on Tyrone Quick, 45, who was standing just outside Cruz’s door in the hallway. Quick was stabbed in the chest and his heart was punctured, prosecutors said.
His blood still stained the hallway on Sunday.
Quick died in the building and medics rushed Guzman to Lincoln Hospital, where she is recovering.
Cruz believes Ortiz was delivering on a promise he made to the tenants the night before he fell into a murderous rage.
“The night before he actually came out [of] his house with a knife,” Cruz said. “He was saying he was going to kill us, he said he was going to kill Vanessa.”
As Ortiz was led away from the scene in handcuffs, he laughed, a building staffer told The News.
“He said he was going to kill all of us,” Cruz said. “Then the next day, he did.”
Ortiz was held without bail after a hearing in which he appeared completely relaxed, even thanking the judge and his defense attorney for their time.