A Long Island man is facing charges after he fatally stabbed a thief who tried to steal wheel rims and tires from his parked SUV.
Jacob Alvarenga Mejia noticed three people trying to steal the items from his 2023 Toyota Highlander late Saturday.
When he stepped outside his home armed with a knife, the three suspects ran off but Mejia still managed to stab one of them. Later identified as Luis Pena.
“As they are getting in their car, the last individual getting into the car, [Mejia] stabbed him multiple times in the back,” Police said.
Pena was rushed to a Bronx hospital by his accomplices and died from his wounds.
The 28-year-old car owner was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree assault and first-degree manslaughter after investigators determined that he was the aggressor in the incident.
“By law, you're allowed to defend your property, you can use physical force. You can't use deadly physical force,” said Nassau County Police Captain Stephen Fitzpatrick.
“There's no indication of the three subjects stealing the rims being the aggressors, being physical to Mr. Mejia.”