Woman slashed as part of Queens rampage speaks out about attack

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Kemberly Richardson is in Astoria, Queens with the details

An investigation is continuing after a deadly crime spree in Queens Sunday in which a man suspected of slashing a woman in the face, fatally stabbing a store owner and setting a homeless man on fire was shot and wounded by police.

Police say 23-year-old James Patrick Dillon is in critical condition after police confronted and shot him following three violent attacks in two locations. Liquor store owner George Patouhas, 55, was killed after being stabbed inside the business, where he apparently broke up a fight between Dillon and a homeless man.

(George Patouhas)

Patouhas' wife was too distraught to speak, but one of his best friends had nothing be good things to say about a man who loved his family.

"His daughter was his jewel, his wife was his jewel," Herbert Rodriguez said. "His wife was there, always. He used to bring his daughter here and see her to do her homework and little things, her painting. He loved his daughter, his wife. To come to this situation, to this conclusion, is unfair."

Meanwhile, the woman slashed in the initial attack is speaking out. She says the only thing that stopped Dillon was when he saw blood on her hand from touching the back of her head.

Berta Carpio, her wounds still fresh, says he saw the blood on her hand and ran away. A slash on her face and several stab wounds in her head an inch and a half deep serve as a reminder to the terrifying ordeal.

"Last night I wasn't able to sleep," she said through a translator. "I could only think about this because it was so traumatic."

The mother of four says she had just left her house on 36th Street in Astoria Sunday morning when her neighbor, Dillon, passed her on his bike.

"We looked at each other," she said. "He looked at me. He said, 'what are you looking at?' And then he said a bad word."

Carpio says Dillon then picked up a rock and started after her, eventually blocking her on the sidewalk with his bike. She says he then pulled a knife out of his bag and attacked.

"That's when I told myself, 'I'm going to die here.'" she said. "I didn't know what was going to happen. That's when he grabbed me by the neck, he grabbed me by my jacket and he started to stab me in the neck."

That was just the beginning of Dillon's alleged crime spree.
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CeFaan Kim has the details from Astoria.

A few hours later, police say he killed Patouhas and set another man inside the store on fire. After that, while police were canvassing the area, they received a report of a burglary on 42nd Street. Officers followed him to his home on 36th Street, where a confrontation ensued. Police say he refused to drop a knife and threw an accelerant on two officers, burning their hands and face. They responded with a barrage of bullets.

A police officer remained guard outside his home Monday.

"It's just very sad that this could happen in a city like this," area resident Kit Williamson said. "You feel very safe walking around the street, and there are so many cops, but nothing can protect you from a crazy person."

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that the suspect had no history of significant violence.

"There were some minor criminal offenses, but not involving violence," he said. "And we don't have all the details yet, but from what we know, this is not someone who would have come up on the radar as a particular threat. But this does get to the point that that family deserved more help to figure out how to handle the problems that young man was having."
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