Red Bulls Soccer Coach Slashed to Death near Union Square, Leaves Police Scratching Heads
Early Sunday morning around 4:30 a.m., NYPD responded to a call of a young, white male who had been assaulted in front of 25 West 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. When cops arrived on the scene, they found the victim was Michael Jones, a 25-year-old from West Harrison, a suburb in Westchester County, New York. He worked as a youth coach for the New York Red Bulls.
Jones was lying in a pool of his own blood. His throat was cut, his stomach was slashed open, and his left ear was severed from his head. Bleeding out, Jones was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Though police say it's still early in the investigation, authorities told the Village Voice that there is no evidence supporting that the victim was robbed. Police didn't find anything taken from Jones, and his cell phone was found on the street nearby.
"There's nothing point to a robbery at this point, but obviously [Jones] ain't telling us," an officer told us early Monday morning.
Police are searching for a Hispanic man caught on surveillance near the scene, who looked to be between 25 and 30 years old with a dark ponytail. According to NYPD CompStat numbers, Jones' death is the first murder in the 13th Precinct this year. There were only two in 2011.
"We are aware of this tragedy and on behalf of the entire organization, want to send our most heartfelt condolences to Michael's family, friends and loved ones. He was a tremendous individual, a fantastic coach who loved soccer and a terrific friend for many of us," the New York Red Bulls said in a statement yesterday. "This is truly a sad day for our soccer community and we will do our utmost to help authorities in their investigation of this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's family at this time."
Police are asking for anyone with information about the murder to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.
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