March 9, 2016 By Michael Florio
The suspect who stabbed two people – one fatally – and set another on fire in Astoria last weekend is also being investigated for a stabbing in Jackson Heights.
James Dillon, 23, is being investigated for a stabbing that occurred in a building on Roosevelt Avenue at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to police.
The 43-year-old victim held the door open for the suspect, while entering a building located at 84-30 Roosevelt Ave. As the victim entered the building, the suspect stabbed him from behind in the back of the neck, according to the NYPD.
The victim suffered a small puncture and was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital. He did not require any stitches.
Investigators are seeking to determine whether Dillon is responsible for this stabbing. A determination has not yet been made, a NYPD spokesman said.
If Dillon were responsible for this stabbing, it would have occurred in the midst of a violent crime spree in Astoria.
His attacks began at 11:20 a.m. in front of 25-69 36th St., where a 39-year-old woman – who was known to the suspect – was slashed in the face and neck, according to police.
At that time, police responded and were unable to locate the suspect.
Then at 3:10 p.m., an argument broke out at Astoria Liquors & Wines at 38-18 Astoria Blvd. Dillon allegedly stabbed owner George Patouhas, who was removed to Mt. Sinai Hospital where he later died.
Dillon also allegedly attacked a 61-year-old homeless man at this time, spraying the man with accelerant and lighting him on fire, according to the NYPD.
That victim was transported to Cornell-Presbyterian Hospital and was in stable condition as of Sunday night.
Two hours after the liquor store attacks, police received a 911 call of a burglary in progress at 30-65 42nd St., where a man had attempted to break into an apartment and was fleeing on the fire escape.
Finally at 5:40 p.m., two officers from the Critical Response Command who were canvassing the area on foot encountered Dillon at 25-38 36th St. They demanded he drop the knife and bottle of accelerant that he was carrying.
Dillon refused, and then sprayed the two officers with the liquid, burning their hands. The officers then shot Dillon.
Both officers were transported to Cornell-Presbyterian Hospital in stable condition.
Dillon was transported to Elmhurst General Hospital in critical condition.