PATERSON, NJ – Less than 21 hours after a man was fatally stabbed in a fight outside a bar on McBride Avenue, Paterson Police arrested a 30-year-old city resident and charged him with the murder.
The suspect, it turns out, was being treated at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center - the same hospital where the victim, 23-year-old Beleon Ellerbee, was taken and eventually died – when he was charged with the crime.
Maty Arias, of N. 10th Street, is under police guard at St. Joseph’s, where he is in stable condition after suffering a laceration during the fight. Authorities have not determined who cut Arias, but they say they do not believe it was Ellerbee.
The stabbing happened at about 12:30 am outside Augie's Bar, police said. Arias and a friend, Wilkin Zorilla, 23, of Market Street, had left the bar, police said. There was no sign of trouble in the bar, said Capt. Heriberto Rodriguez, but a fight erupted outside in which Ellerbee eventually was stabbed once in the chest. Ellerbee had not been inside the bar, police said. Nor was he the person who apparently initiated the fight, police said.
“This crime would not have been solved in such quick fashion without the help of the Ellerbee family and friends,’’ said Rodriguez. “They all came together to work with the police department.’’
Zorilla, who is known as Johnny, ended up being arrested on DWI charges when he left the hospital, police said. He also was charged with assault on a police officer, Rodriguez said.