A former IDF soldier was killed in a fight over a parking space in the New York borough of Brooklyn, police said.
Omri Dahan, 23, was stabbed to death during an altercation after his older brother returned home on Sunday night to find a man’s car blocking his driveway on E. 73rd Street, police said.
The brother honked his horn until the car owner, who was visiting a neighboring home, walked out. An altercation ensued during which both the older Dahan brother and the car owner, identified by police as 41-year-old Djems Jean-Paul, called on others for help.
According to a witness, the elder Dahan tried to hit Jean-Paul with a baby gate.
During the fight, Jean-Paul drew a knife and began swinging it, stabbing the elder Dahan in the arm and Omri in the chest. The older brother was hospitalized in stable condition, but Omri was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital a short time later.
Jean-Paul, who had no prior arrests, then fled the scene for JFK airport, where police caught up with him and arrested him while he was waiting to board a JetBlue flight to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Jean-Paul is expected to be charged with manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
According to local media, the American-Israeli Dahan had grown up in the US, but came to Israel in 2015 to serve for two years in the IDF. He was working for his brother’s plumbing company in Brooklyn.
His father Shlomo and brother Harel died in 2009 from inhaling toxic fumes at a waste transfer station in Queens where they were cleaning a well.
Omri Dahan was laid to rest in Israel on Tuesday. Fellow soldiers from the IDF’s Shimshon infantry battalion laid a wreath on his grave.
עמרי אחי היקר.. לפני מספר שעות הבאנו אותך אני וכל האחים שלך למנוחת עולמים, הלב עדיין לא מצליח לעכל את המראות הקשים.כשלי…
One former comrade, Amit Israeli, eulogized Dahan in a Facebook post.
“Omri, my dear brother, a few hours ago I and all your brothers laid you to your eternal rest…. You broke us today, our brother. We hope you’re well up there and will continue to watch over us from there too.”
A neighbor in Brooklyn, Tommy Velinskie, told the local news channel CBS2 after the incident that he’d known Dahan, whose father had been his friend and landlord, since he was 6 years old.
“It hurts because I’m used to seeing him,” Velinskie said. “Very nice guy, always willing to help me when I needed help fixing things in the apartment.”