The New York City subway, veritable hellhole that it is, attracts all sorts of people. And thanks to a recent spate of subway slashings, NYPD officers are patrolling trains and platforms in greater numbers than ever. Although they sometimes miss the mark with their arrests, this time it's lucky officers issued a petty ticket when they did—a man picked up by the NYPD for spitting on a subway platform turned out to be a murder suspect who's been on the run since November.
Euzebelin Abellard was standing on the platform at the Stillwell Ave. station around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, the New York Daily News reports. Two officers standing near him had been flipping through wanted posters earlier in their shift and approached Abellard, thinking he looked familiar. As the officers approached, Abellard hacked a giant loogie their way—an offense punishable by a quality-of-life ticket and a $50 fine. When Abellard gave the officers his name, they confirmed he was a suspect wanted in the murder of Jean-Claude Bernagene on November 20, 2015.
Bernagene, who cops believe ran a gambling operation, was found lying on the ground in his front yard with gunshot wounds to his chest, right knee, and right wrist. He was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, where he later died; police were never able to arrest anyone for the incident, although they looked for the gunman for months.
Now it looks like they've found him—Abellard was reportedly questioned and charged with murder, criminal use of a firearm, and criminal weapons possession. "That’s beautiful," Bernagene’s brother, Robert Bernagene, told the Daily News. "Sometimes people do something terrible and believe they’ll never get caught."