Michael Grusel, of Babylon, was expected to face a judge Sunday morning to be arraigned on a charge of first-degree manslaughter in connection with the stabbing that occurred shortly after noon along Locust Avenue in Babylon. Cops said Grusel had been fighting with the victim, 20-year-old James Moran, of Bay Shore, before the stabbing. A witness broke up the fight between the two men, and after realizing Moran had been stabbed, alerted an off-duty Suffolk County police officer who was nearby.
The off-duty cop, Fred Bothe, chased after Grusel as he tried to the leave the scene, police said. Bothe, with the help of good Samaritans, was able to detain Grusel until patrol officers from Suffolk’s First Precinct arrived. Moran was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where he died of his injuries, police said. Grusel was arrested at the scene.
A friend of the suspect’s family, who was at the scene Saturday afternoon, told reporters Grusel was initially the victim. “He’s 28 years old with the mental level of a 15-year-old,”Anthony Herrera told WABC-TV. “They were chasing down this kid for the third time this week and he got scared and had no choice but to protect himself.”
The incident unfolded just feet from a popular ball field in Babylon. The Babylon Little League, which had games underway when the stabbing occurred, canceled all of their remaining competitions on Saturday due to police activity. Cops say the men had no connection to the little league.
Grusel was held overnight in police custody at the First Precinct in West Babylon. He did not comment as officers led him out of the stationhouse Sunday morning on the way to court. Details from his arraignment were not immediately available in online court records.