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Astoria Houses man busted in Boston, charged in fatal 2020 stabbing of father of five near iconic mural: NYPD

An Astoria Houses man was charged with murder for allegedly stabbing a father of five to death near this mural in 2020. (Photo by Bill Parry)

May 16, 2023 By Bill Parry

NYPD detectives with the Regional Fugitive Task Force tracked down an Astoria Houses man in Boston who is suspected to be behind a fatal stabbing that occurred nearly three years ago.

Nathaniel Johnson, 57, was brought back to the 114th Precinct in Astoria on May 15, where he was booked on murder and weapons charges in connection with a homicide investigation into the killing of Romeo Bartley, a 57-year-old father of five who was stabbed to death near his home on the morning of June 7, 2020, police said.

Officers from the 114th Precinct responded to a 911 call of an assault in progress in front of the iconic “We are family” mural across from the Astoria Houses, where they found Bartley with stab wounds to his chest and a 34-year-old woman with a stab wound to her back.

Bartley was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to the authorities. The woman was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital-Queens, where she was listed in stable condition.

A preliminary investigation at the time determined that both victims were allegedly stabbed by Johnson following a verbal dispute inside the convenience store located at 28-02 8th St. Bartley lived just steps from his home on 8th Street.

Johnson was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the NYPD.

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