A Bronx man has been accused of hacking a man he met through the gay dating app Grindr to death with a machete, New York City police say.
Juan Alonso, 50, has been charged with murder, manslaughter, and criminal possession of a weapon for the brutal slaughter, which took place in his apartment on E. 206th Street, near Perry Avenue, in the Bronx’s Norwood neighborhood, on Sunday, Sept. 28.
Alonso’s roommate, who had been away for the weekend, reportedly returned to the apartment around 7:10 p.m. to find Alonso standing over the victim, who was lying face down with slash and stab wounds to his head and back, with a bloody machete in his hand.
“He was like so cut up,” building super John Gonzalez told the New York Daily News, adding that the victim was “on the floor in pieces.”
The identity of the victim has not yet been revealed.
Police who responded to the scene eventually escorted Alonso out of the apartment in a bloody bed sheet, placing him under arrest.
“I asked [Alonso] what happened when they were putting him in the squad car,” Gonzalez said. “He said he was trying to defend himself. He said he was in the bed sleeping — and when he woke up, there was someone was on top of him trying to rape him…. He was out of it.”
Gonzalez added: “He was a good guy. I always talked to him. He always was calm. He didn’t look like the type of guy who would do something like that.”
Police claim Alonso met the victim on Grindr. But they declined to give a motive for the murder or his mental state at the time.
The roommate told police that he was placed in the apartment by a real estate agency, and didn’t know Alonso well, even though they lived together.
But Gonzalez noted that Alonso used to go on a lot of dates, saying: “He was always having a new boyfriend.”
Alonso is next scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, Oct. 2, according to court records. His initial arraignment hearing in Bronx Criminal Court was delayed because he was hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation, court sources told the Daily News.
Cathy Lopez, 42, a long-time friend of Alonso, who she knew as “Manny,” said the murder was out of character for Alonso, who cooked Mexican food in his apartment and sold it on the street.
“He must have been pushed to the edge,” she said. “Manny is not a violent guy.”
She claimed that Alonso said he had been abused by past roommates.
“I don’t know how he met them,” she said. “Manny took roommates to pay the rent. And they turned on him…. Someone can only take so much.”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!