The NYPD has identified the man suspected of stabbing a beloved youth soccer coach near Union Square early Sunday morning. According to police, the suspect's name is Orando Orea, 32. His name was placed on the no-fly list shortly after investigators determined his name at 4:45 p.m. yesterday. But it was too late; Orea had already boarded a flight to Mexico out of JFK airport earlier in the day.
The Associated Press reports that Orea, also known as Orlando Gutierrez or Orlando Estevas, "bought a one-way ticket on an Aero Mexico flight with cash moments before it was scheduled to leave." It's not clear what ties Orea has to Mexico, but sources tell the AP investigators are trying to track him down there. (Hopefully they'll have better luck than with the "Russian Rambo" who successfully fled the country after butchering his wife and her daughter in Sheepshead Bay.)
Yesterday NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters it's possible Orea stabbed Michael Jones, the 25-year-old soccer coach, because he thought Jones was involved in an earlier altercation over a woman who was a regular at the bar Bunga’s Den at 137 West 14th Street. The woman has reportedly told police she was too inebriated to remember the details of the altercation, but sources say several men intervened on her behalf after Orea bothered her. Jones, who was never in the bar, crossed paths with Orea around 4:30 a.m., but investigators theorize Orea may have confused him for a Bunga's Den patron.
The surveillance video shows them coming close enough to have a conversation before they fought. According to police sources, the footage shows Jones slamming the suspect into a building. His assailant then pulls a knife and slashes him across the chest and throat, severing his ear. One source tells the Post Orea “definitely knew what he was doing with the knife. He expertly cut the body, it was not just a random stabbing." Jones was left to die on the sidewalk as Orea, a Queens resident, strolled casually away.
There will be a memorial service for Jones in White Plains today, and his father, who lives near Liverpool, is asking that his son's body be returned to England for burial.