18-year-old college student stabbed in Flatiron District was mistaken for rival gang member
An 18-year-old college student innocently coming home for Christmas was fatally stabbed after getting off a bus from upstate by students from another school who mistook him for a member of a rival gang.
Denzel Bimpey, who has no gang affiliation, and the suspects apparently all boarded at the same Syracuse bus depot and had an uneventful ride to Manhattan, arriving Friday night.
As they retrieved their luggage from the bus, a verbal dispute erupted between friends of Bimpey, a student at SUNY Morrisville, and the suspects’ group, who attend SUNY Onondaga Community College.
The suspects’ group asked the victim and his two friends “what block are you from,” as a way of inquiring about their gang affiliation. The victim responded, saying they were not in a gang.
Bimpey attempted to deescalate the dispute but was instead stabbed three times. He suffered a seven-to-eight-inch puncture wound to the mid chest, a puncture to his right shoulder and a cut to his forearm.
He attempted to run away with his friends but fell to the ground. A weapon, possible a knife or boxcutter, was found nearby.
The suspects ran back up Park Avenue and fled in a black SUV.
Detectives obtained surveillance video from the Syracuse bus hub and are now identifying the three persons of interest involved in the fight. They are reputed members of a gang based in Harlem.
The victims and suspects are not believed to have had any interaction before the fight erupted Friday night.
The victim has no prior record.