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Queens Chronicle

Woodhaven stabbing motive still unclear

Leads include link to a gang feud, connection to similar June attack

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Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 2:24 pm | Updated: 2:00 pm, Thu Aug 8, 2013.

Police are following at least two leads in last week’s knife attack on a teenage girl outside her Woodhaven home. 

Natasha Martinez, 17, was stabbed 10 times in front of her home on 85th Street in Woodhaven around 11:30 p.m. on Monday while walking home from her job at McDonald’s in Ozone Park. She was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in critical condition, but her status was later upgraded to stable and she is expected to survive.

Police say the suspect fled the scene toward Jamaica Avenue and was dressed in a white hooded sweatshirt.

A source close to the investigation said Friday that a possible link to a gang feud is being looked at as a motive, though the details of Martinez’s involvement with the feud are still unclear.

Earlier, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly confirmed that investigators were looking into the possibility that the attack was random and connected to another stabbing that left a woman gravely injured in Queens Village on June 25. 

A police source also confirmed Thursday that the NYPD is looking into the possibility that both attacks are related due to their similar nature: Both appeared to be unprovoked knife attacks that occurred in residential neighborhoods late at night. Neither victim appeared to have been robbed. As of Friday, that lead is still being investigated. 

“We’re seeing if there is a pattern here,” Kelly told reporters on Wednesday. 

The description of the suspect in Monday's attack is a similar to that of the suspect wanted for the June 25 stabbing.

In that case, Kerline Denizard, 36, a home health aide, was stabbed seven times in the neck near her home on 221st St. around 5 a.m. She also survived, but remains hospitalized.

Last week, police released a video of who they believe is the suspect walking away from the scene in Woodhaven in a sweatshirt.

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