‘Beloved’ Hudson Valley, New York Native Killed By Friend, Police
A 22-year-old Hudson Valley resident was murdered. His alleged killer fled the scene. Police say the two were friends.
On Sunday, around 8:35 p.m., the City of Middletown Police Department responded to the area of 9 Maryland Avenue for a report of a dispute that possibly involved weapons.
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Upon arriving at the location, officers were flagged down by several subjects inside of a 2014 Acura four-door sedan.
The group stated that they needed assistance with a passenger inside of the vehicle who had been stabbed in the chest.
Middletown Police Officers immediately removed the subject from the vehicle, initiating life-saving efforts and administering CPR. The man was then transported via Mobile Life Support Ambulance to Garnet Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police say.
The victim has been identified as Nicholas Lacatena, 22, of Campbell Hall, New York.
"Today we lost our beloved grandson Nicholas. Nicholas was a kind-hearted compassionate man who would help anyone in need. His life was just beginning but he was tragically taken from us at the age of 22," Sheryl Dandorf wrote in a GoFundMe.
Witnesses on-scene told police that a male suspect retreated into the residence at 9 Maryland Avenue. Officers established a perimeter and unsuccessfully attempted to contact the suspect inside.
Officers then entered and cleared the residence with assistance from the New York State Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Town of Wallkill Police Department. The residence was then secured and processed by the Middletown Police Department Crime Scene Unit.
The Middletown Detective Division initiated a comprehensive investigation into the incident, assisted by the New York State Police and Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
It is believed that the stabbing occurred as a result of an ongoing dispute between the victim and suspect, who were well-known to each other.
On Monday around 9:30 a.m., the alleged suspect was arrested in the Town of Thompson. 23-year-old Eusten Copping of the City of Middletown was charged the murder.
"At this time, there does not appear to be any additional outstanding suspects, and there is no danger to the community," the City of Middletown Police Department said in a press release.
Coppin was booked and processed at the Middletown Police Department and is awaiting arraignment in Middletown City Court.
Additional information will be provided if it becomes available, police say.