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Suspect charged in New York City gangland murder

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Aerial view of Queens in New York City at sunset with the George Washington Bridge in the background
Aerial view of Queens in New York City at sunset with the George Washington Bridge in the background

NEW YORK – A Corona man has been charged with murder for a brutal gangland assault and murder on November 13th in Queens.

According to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Michael Santander was charged with murder, gang assault, and other crimes in Corona following the death of a 22-year-old man.

The unsealed complaint states that on November 13, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Santander and a group of unidentified individuals approached 22-year-old Esvin Vasquez at a BP Gas Station located near the intersection of Junction Boulevard and 44th Avenue, Corona. Santander and the others in the group are seen on video surveillance footage repeatedly kicking Vasquez in the head and body.

Santander, 20, of 39th Avenue in Corona, was arrested Wednesday on charges of murder in the second degree, gang assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Judge Marty Lentz ordered the defendant to appear in court today. If found guilty, Santander could face a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.


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“The life of a young father was cut short in a shockingly brutal attack. As alleged, the defendant kicked and battered one victim causing his death and seriously injured a second. The defendant will be held accountable and we will find the other perpetrators of this heinous assault,” Katz said.

Vazquez was also struck in the head by Santander with a wooden board. In addition to the victim who sustained multiple broken ribs, Santander also used the board on another victim.

Detective Duane Atkinson of the 110th Detective Squad of the New York Police Department conducted the investigation.