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Young Man Fatally Stabbed in Late-Night Fight at Suydam Street Restaurant

Police Make Arrest and Find Knife in Bushes, But Have Not Made Any Statements Yet
El Costeno
Smashed fruit was visible on the sidewalk outside El Costeno Mexican Restaurant, the scene of a fatal stabbing. Charlie Kratovil

UPDATE (7/6): The Middlex County Prosecutor's has identified the victim and suspect in this tragic stabbing.

Authorities announced that 32-year-old Edgar Martinez was being held on $2 million bail, charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon in the death on July 4, 2015 of 20-year-old Jovanni Garcia-Elvira.

Garcia-Elvira was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead at 5 a.m. on July 4, 2015.  An autopsy showed he died from multiple stab wounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Lemmerling of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-5200, or Detective Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4054. 

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At about 4:15am on July 4, city police responded to a "disturbance" reported at El Costeno Mexican restaurant.

Sources tell New Brunswick Today that a young man was killed in a fight, fatally stabbed either inside the restaurant or on his way out the front door.

Police called for an ambulance and at least one officer went to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital with the victim.

"New Brunswick get EMS over here," said one officer on scene over the police radio.  "A male bleeding, we're trying to figure it out right now.  Possible stabbed."

Twenty minutes later, a second ambulance was called for another person with minor injuries, accoring to police radio transmissions.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic man with a white shirt and a bandana, who fled towards Seaman Street.

Police found and stopped someone matching that description on Joyce Kilmer Avenue, arrested him, and found a knife in the bushes nearby.

A second suspect was described as a female who may have driven away from the scene.

"She had mini-shorts, like jeans, plaid shirt, and a sombrero," said one officer, passing along the description given to him by witnesses.

The killing is the second homicide reported in the City of New Brunswick this year, though a city resident was also recently killed in South Brunswick, that community's first homicide since 2008.

But it's also part of an alarming trend of stabbings that have all occurred on the same city block.

It is at least the fourth stabbing, and the second fatal stabbing to occur in this same area in the past two years.

On July 27, 2013, city resident David Campos-Garcia was fatally stabbed at the same location, and just hours later, police arrested the suspected killer in his Handy Street home.

On January 1, 2015, a man was stabbed underneath the nearby railroad overpass.  The city did not issue a press release or use its Nixle emergency alert system to notify the public of the serious crime.  Rutgers, which has a nearby campus in downtown also did not issue a crime alert.

On March 22, police responded to a house party on the same block, where they found a stabbing victim and eventually charged a 19-year-old with the crime.  The stabbing was supposedly the result of an argument over a cigarette.

However, in this most recent incident, authorities have not identified the victim or confirmed that a crime occurred.  Police on the scene and elsewhere in the city declined to comment.

"Any info on that incident will come from the [Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office]," said NBPD Captain JT Miller.

But an inquiry to the prosecutor's office remains unanswered, and no official press release has been issued about the crime.  Neither the victim or suspect has been identified.