L.E.S. teen arrested for vicious slashing at Silver Spurs diner

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Amid the seemingly out-of-control surge of slashings gripping the city, police collared a Lower East Side teenager on Tuesday in last week’s vicious attack at Silver Spurs that left a busboy needing more than 130 stitches on his face.

Dominicio Howington, 16, was picked up at the Lillian Wald Houses, where he lives at 691 F.D.R. Drive, and charged with first-degree assault and criminal weapon possession. He likely won’t be getting out soon — bail was set at $50,000. It was reported that he is already on parole — for a 2014 robbery, and also has past arrests for assault, criminal trespass and petty larceny.

Detectives from the 6th. precinct , on West 10th street, remove the slashing suspect, Dominico Howington 16,  to a waiting vehicle for transportation to Manhattan Criminal Court's Central Booking.  (Sam Costanza for New York Daily News)
Detectives led Dominicio Howington, 16, out of the Sixth Precinct, on W. 10th St., on Tuesday at 7 p.m., to be transported to Central Booking at Manhattan Criminal Court. Photo by C4P


Amid the recent wave of slashing incidents, on Wed., Feb. 17, at 8 p.m., Bobby Barbot, 25, a worker at Silver Spurs diner, at 490 LaGuardia Place at W. Houston St., was brutally sliced on the left cheek, allegedly by Howington, after he asked him to leave the place.

EMS medics responded and transported Barbot to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition, where he received 137 stitches to close the gaping gash. According to the Daily News, half of the stitches were on the inside of his cheek, because the gash went all the way through.

According to police, the youth came into the diner and began asking patrons for donations. He was asked to leave and complied. But he returned shortly after, slashed the victim and then fled northbound on LaGuardia Place. News reports said the teen had been soliciting donations for a “bogus basketball league” and “bothering customers.”

The victim’s girlfriend, Nicole Fontanez, told CBS News that Barbot “just asked him to please leave. It was just a nice way, and then the guy was like, ‘Oh, whatever,’ and he got rowdy and he said, ‘I’ll be back.’”

She said Barbot — who had not been confrontational to the man — escorted him outside Silver Spurs, which is when he was slashed.
However, a report in the New York Post told a different story.

According to the Post, Barbot is an aspiring Mixed Martial Arts fighter, and he and the suspect traded words and, eventually punches in their first encounter. The teen missed with his punch, but Barbot said, in his turn, he “knocked out” the younger man, sending him to the floor. The teen then left, but warned he would be back. Ten minutes later he returned and Barbot blocked his path.

“I seen him pull out a boxcutter,” Barbot told the Post. “He was yelling, ‘Say I won’t cut you!’ I told him, ‘You’re a coward for pulling out a knife on at me.’ He just lashed at me with the knife.”

slashing, victim
Slashing victim Bobby Barbot in a photo on Instagram.


However, George Pirgousis, a manager at the restaurant, told The Villager that although he wasn’t working at the time of the incident, he did not hear anything about there having been a physical confrontation with the assailant prior to the slashing. He said his understanding was that the suspect simply left and then returned and cut Barbot.

As for Barbot’s interest in MMA, he said, “He practices on the side to keep in shape.”

Barbot has worked at Silver Spurs two to three years, Pirgousis said.

“Eventually, he’ll be back,” he assured.

Police provided a surveillance-camera image of the suspect and additional photos of three unknown teens — a male and two females — who were seen in his company on the date of the incident. Howington was caught based on a tip.

In addition, in Soho, just a few blocks east from Silver Spurs, there was another bloody slashing the same day outside Supreme, the skateboard and clothing store on Lafayette St. near Prince St., where a new clothing line had just been released. A 21-year-old man was slashed on his right cheek — either for cutting the line or in robbery.

“The amount of blood that just came out of it was unreal,” a witness said.

With more than 570 incidents already so far this year, stabbings and slashings are up more than 20 percent — about 100 more than last year for the same period. Mayor Bill de Blasio assured that 2,000 new police officers will be on the streets this year and will help address the problem.