New York City police have charged Aaron Garcia, 37, of Yonkers with attempted murder and assault in connection to a Sunday evening hatchet attack caught on video at a bank in lower Manhattan. He is pictured in previous mugshot
The Iraq War veteran who allegedly bludgeoned a man with a hatchet at a Chase bank ATM in New York City Sunday, spent six months living in Yonkers terrorizing his housemates who repeatedly had to call police for help, DailyMail.com has learned.
But the state’s eviction moratorium prevented suspect Aaron Garcia from being kicked out of the apartment building.
The 37-year-old, who is charged with assault and attempted murder, was living in squalor at the home where he would light candles that would burn the walls, and once set his mattress on fire, neighbors and tenants say.
Tenants said he would also sneak into a female tenant’s bedroom, curl up on her bed nude while playing with her clothes.
When his landlord came for the rent one month, Garcia allegedly chased him from the building while naked, causing the landlord to stumble to the ground.
But that still wasn’t enough to get him evicted.
Following his arrest, NYPD sources gave an address for him on McLean Avenue in Yonkers, which turned out to be a UPS store. DailyMail.com, however, learned he was living elsewhere in Yonkers and spoke with three of his former housemates, who described him as maniac
DailyMail.com has learned Garcia was living in squalor at a Yonkers apartment building, where he allegedly terrorized tenants for six months last year. Pictured: A broken door jam at Garcia’s former home
A toilet clogged with feces at Garcia’s former apartment. A male neighbor who lived downstairs claimed Garcia would always block the toilet with waste, and often burn candles
The landlord and his wife hired a lawyer who gathered evidence to support their case, but were later told the state still wouldn’t allow an eviction.
‘They were trying to evict him, but COVID got in the way,’ said Crystal Sosa, 29, who lives in the three-story house in a run-down neighborhood in Northwest Yonkers.
Her father was the landlord, who died from COVID-19 in January.
DailyMail.com learned Garcia finally did vanish one day last November, leaving three candles lit in each of the eight windows he left open, after detectives confronted him.
Police in Yonkers had outstanding warrants for his arrest last Sunday, when he attacked Queens resident Miguel Solorzano, 50, at an ATM in lower Manhattan, repeatedly striking him with a hatchet.
Surveillance footage from the Chase bank showed Solorzano standing at an ATM when Garcia suddenly pulled a hatchet from a bag and started swinging it at the unsuspecting victim.
He then proceeded to smash the ATM screens before walking away, but not before leaving the hatchet and his backpack behind.
Burnt moldings from candles lit at the home. Neighbors say Garcia would light candles that would burn the walls, and once set his mattress on fire
Burnt papers and debris found at the home. DailyMail.com learned Garcia finally did vanish one day last November, leaving three lit candles in each of the eight windows
Solorzano, who lives in Corona, suffered three slash wounds to the head and another to his right leg, New York City police officials reported.
He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he remains after undergoing two surgeries.
‘He didn’t even rob me,’ Solorzano told the New York Daily News in Spanish. ‘He took nothing. Nothing. He was crazy.’
Photos emerged on Thursday of the immediate aftermath of the assault as Solorzano sat, covered in blood, on the sidewalk while medics tended to him before he was put on a gurney and taken to hospital.
Garcia was arrested Tuesday night after he threatened a man with a hammer in Chelsea then smashed the windows of several parked cars.
According to police sources, Garcia was not on the NYPD’s radar at the time of the vicious attack, having never been arrested in the city.
Following his arrest, NYPD sources gave an address for him on McLean Avenue in Yonkers, which turned out to be a UPS store.
DailyMail.com, however, learned he was living elsewhere in Yonkers and spoke with three of his former housemates, who described him as a maniac.
City police officers responded to the scene Sunday night, speaking to Solorzano who sat bleeding on the sidewalk outside of the bank
Authorities wrapped Solorzano’s head in bandages as blood dripped down his face
They bandaged him up and put him in a stretcher for his injuries to his head and leg
He told neighbors that he fought in Iraq and was still suffering from the experience.
A male neighbor who lived downstairs said Garcia would always clog up the toilet with waste, and often burn candles.
‘He had some ritual and he burned the wall, leaving it black,’ the man said.
‘This guy was out of control. He has a psychiatric condition. Tenants left because he freaked them out.
‘I was telling the super the police won’t get him before he does some crazy s**t,’ he said.
Neighbors said a woman would stay with him at times, and he would sometimes be seen with a child.
According to Crystal, Garcia had a girlfriend and child.
The child would apparently stay with him when school was out and the woman was working.
‘Oh my god, the man was crazy,’ she said.
She said Garcia moved into the house in April 2020, as a tenant paying $650 a month rent.
Video captured the shocking moment Queens man Miguel Solorazano, 50, is slashed with a hatchet while using an ATM at a Chase Bank in downtown Manhattan at 5.30pm Sunday. It begins with the attacker walking into the ATM room with the hatchet in hand
The unknown assailant starts with slashes to the back of the surprised victim’s knees
The landlord’s widow, Georgina Sosa, told DailyMail.com that the entire experience with Garcia was a nightmare.
‘We rented him a room, but he took the whole apartment,’ she said. ‘And he attacked my husband.’
‘We put a lawyer on him to evict him, but it never worked because of the pandemic,’ she added. ‘The lawyer told us we can’t do nothing because of the pandemic.’
‘He’d [Garcia] tell us he went to war to fight for us in Iraq and that he became crazy because he’d see people dying.
‘He is sick. He didn’t stop because he’s crazy.’
According to Crystal, Garcia lived in a downstairs bedroom, but started sneaking into a female’s unit across the hall.
‘He would go into her room, lay in her bed naked and play with her clothing,’ she said. ‘Freaky stuff. She ended up putting cameras up to monitor him.’
‘It was like a weekly thing,’ she added. ‘He’d walk in on other tenants too. One tenant moved out because he was afraid of the guy.’
The landlord moved him up to the top floor to try and isolate him from other tenants, but it still didn’t help the situation.
During a recent ATM visit at a Lower Manhattan Chase bank, a 51-year-old man was brutally attacked by a hatchet-wielding lunatic, surveillance footage shows
The smashed ATMs (pictured) seen in the aftermath of the brutal attack
‘One day he chased after my dad naked, went downstairs and ran outside after him,’ Crystal said. ‘My dad had a bad foot, so it was hard for him to run. And he fell hard.
‘The police were here constantly,’ she added. ‘But would come, but they never took him away.’
She said Garcia wouldn’t keeping up with rent, but would sometimes sporadically send some money via a cash app.
‘My dad would always tell me – something’s going to happen with him hurting somebody, and now look what’s happened.’
Authorities revealed Wednesday that Garcia was already wanted by Yonkers Police, who have an active arrest warrant out on him for a February 15 assault, and four active bench warrants for failure to appear in court.
He had three prior arrests in 2020 stemming from charges of harassment, aggravated harassment, stalking and criminal contempt, according to officials.
Police said Garcia was arrested after being held at Bellevue Hospital to undergo psychiatric evaluation Wednesday.