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Homeless man charged with attempted murder of another homeless man at Cooper Avenue shelter

A homeless man is in custody for allegedly stabbing another homeless man multiple times at the Cooper Avenue shelter in Glendale last month.

Victor Rodriguez, who resides at 78-16 Cooper Ave., was arrested Dec. 2 and is facing several charges, including attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

According to the charges, on or about Nov. 22 around 9:20 p.m., Hammond Parrish, who also resides 78-16 Cooper Ave., allegedly had a physical altercation with Rodriguez. About 20 minutes following the altercation, Parrish stood outside of the shelter and saw Rodriguez approach the front door, where he stood and spoke “harshly” to Parrish.

Parrish then opened the door, at which point Rodriguez allegedly displayed a knife and repeatedly stabbed Parrish in the back, face, neck and chest. The incident caused Parrish two stab wounds to his chest; two stab wounds to his neck and behind his ear; and three stab wounds to his back, the charges state.

Parrish was later transported to an area hospital, where he was treated for the stab wounds, according to the charges. According to a registered nurse at the hospital, Parrish sustained deep stab wounds to his back, chest, face and the back of his head that required stitches and may leave permanent scarring to his face, the charges state.

Parrish received 14 stitches to one side of his face and four stitches to the other side, two stitches to his head and four stitches to his back in order to close the stab wounds, according to the charges.

Rodriguez’s first court date was on Monday, Dec. 6. He is currently remanded without bail.

The Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center at 78-16 Cooper Ave. came with steep backlash and years of protests from many Glendale residents and local elected officials. But even as a coalition of residents filed a lawsuit to stop it from opening, the 200-bed men shelter, operated by Westchester-based nonprofit Westhab, opened in February 2020.

In July of 2020, Councilman Robert Holden — a longtime critic of the shelter who partly ran his election campaign on stopping then shutting down the facility — again called on the shelter to close following reports of a robbery by a residents at the shelter and an assault at the shelter at the time.

“I am sick and tired of this shelter, and all the @NYCDHS lies that were given to our community,” Holden tweeted last year. “This shelter has been a disaster since it opened. It must be closed now and never be allowed to reopen.”

The NYC Department of Homeless Services did not respond to QNS’ request for comment regarding the incident.

Angélica Acevedo
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Angélica Acevedo

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