A suspect in the early-morning November 9th shooting near Penn Station has been formally charged with murder. Francisco Alsina, 23, is facing murder, attempted murder, and weapon possession charges for allegedly shooting three men on Eighth Avenue near West 35th Street, killing one. Cops say the shooting followed an argument inside the zombie McDonald's, so-called because its proximity to a methadone clinic, two substance-abuse programs, and a needle exchange make it a favored hangout for heroin addicts and their suppliers.
Outside the McDonald's around 6:50 a.m., Alsina allegedly opened fire on three men known at the methadone clinic, killing Angel Quinones and injuring two others. The brazen violence on a Monday morning in Midtown prompted a manhunt for Arcona and a person of interest in the shooting, Vincent Arcona, 27. Both are from towns in Suffolk County.
Police arrested Arcona on drug possession charges after he checked into a Bronx hospital under a fake name and staff recognized him. He allegedly pulled a bag of heroin out of his butt and snorted it while in a police interrogation room. He is now facing charges of evidence tampering and drug possession.
Arcona was arraigned on November 14th, and prosecutors argued for bail to be set at $200,000 saying that he is being investigated as a possible murder accomplice, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said. A judge set his bail at $25,000.
Arcona's lawyer, Mitch Schuman of New York County Defender Services, said Arcona can't make bail in the foreseeable future, and that the evidence tampering count is an "over-charge" meant to keep him in jail while police continue to investigate. The charge, related to Arcona allegedly snorting the drugs and throwing the packaging on the floor, is a felony.
"If they didn’t have that charge, all they had was a misdemeanor drug possession charge," he said. "They wouldn’t have been able to set bail at $25,000."
Of the basis for the evidence tampering charge, Schuman said, "I don’t think it’s legally sufficient. We intend to fight it."
Schuman declined to answer questions about whether Arcona has connections to the methadone clinic or how he came to check into the hospital, citing patient privacy. He also declined to discuss Arcona's background generally.
Police caught up to Alsina in Cranston, Rhode Island. Cops believe the dispute before the shooting may have been about hard drugs.