East New York

Officer recalls walking in on bloody scene of 6-year-old’s death

March 15, 2018 By Paul Frangipane Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Daniel St. Hubert in Brooklyn Supreme Court for his murder trial. Eagle file photo by Paul Frangipane

At the Brooklyn Supreme Court murder trial of a man accused of stabbing two young children over two dozen times in a public housing elevator, an NYPD detective recollected the day when he arrived at the bloody scene.

Daniel St. Hubert, 30, is on trial for second-degree murder, attempted murder, assault and weapon possession for allegedly wielding a steak knife and stabbing then 7-year-old Mikayla Capers and 6-year-old P.J. Avitto in their building’s elevator, killing Avitto.

At about 5:50 p.m. on June 1, 2014, then Officer Ryan Tobin, who has since become a detective, and his lieutenant were radioed about a stabbing at East New York’s Boulevard Houses, a block away from their patrol.

When they arrived, a crowd was already gathered around the bleeding Capers who had previously crawled her way out of the elevator where Avitto died.

Tobin then told jurors he ran into 857 Schenck Ave. to see an elevator door propped open.

“The elevator was open, there was a little boy, there was a pool of blood and he appeared to be dead,” Tobin said. “I just remember there was a large pool of blood that really caught my attention.”

Jurors were previously shown pictures that showed the empty elevator with blood spatter on the floor and a pool of blood strewn where Avitto’s body was found.

After escorting an ambulance to Brookdale Hospital, Tobin stayed in the emergency room as doctors came in and out asking family members about Capers’ medical history.

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“The doctors kept repeatedly coming in and asking about Mikayla,” Tobin said. “They weren’t coming in to ask about P.J.”

Capers was then transported in a specialized ambulance to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for medical attention more fit for a child.

When St. Hubert’s attorney Howard Greenberg got the chance, he asked Tobin why he didn’t give Avitto medical attention at the scene.

“Did you try to administer CPR to this child?” Greenberg asked.

“No, sir,” a red-faced Tobin said, adding that he was waiting for direction from his lieutenant.

In opening arguments of the trial on Wednesday, Greenberg told jurors that St. Hubert wasn’t the killer and despite his DNA being found on the bloody murder weapon, he said none of his fingerprints were found at the scene.

He also preemptively attacked the trustworthiness of Capers, who is expected to testify in the trial, saying she is a pathological liar and has never identified St. Hubert before.

St. Hubert was dressed in all white and wearing white rosary beads around his neck as his mother mumbled to herself in the court audience behind him.

He faces 50 years to life if convicted in the trial that is expected to last about three weeks. Testimony was scheduled to continue Thursday afternoon.

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