When 20-year-old Anthony Lewis was stabbed to death in a downtown melee following the Latino Festival last summer, it seemed as though no one in the crowd of 200 had seen a thing.
Lewis was fatally attacked at about 9:45 p.m. Aug. 15, 2009. His untimely death was the 15th of 22 homicides in Syracuse last year.
With witnesses clamming up, city police had to follow circumstantial evidence found at the scene. The flotsam and jetsam recovered at the scene of the crime, the corner of East Fayette and South Salina streets, led to Mizrain Trinidad-Ayala, 23, of 2003 E. Fayette St., Apartment B-6.
Trinidad-Ayala, 23, was arrested on Feb. 8 and charged with first-degree manslaughter, a felony, and criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.
Speaking to reporters, new Police Chief Frank Fowler refused to blame the downtown festivals for the violence. Instead, he blamed "young people with a total disregard for life."
A SPD detective who's working the case told City Eagle he still expects witnesses to come forward, and has already heard from one.
"I know one kid -- who is currently in jail -- gave me and another detective a statement about how three males showed up at his mother's house after the stabbing and told him what happened," the detective said, "I'm sure there are more witnesses out there."
Read Russ Tarby's Downtown After Dark on page 4.