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NYC Cops Arrest Man in Smoking Ban Death

April 19, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ Police arrested a new suspect in the death of a nightclub bouncer who was stabbed while trying to enforce the city’s smoking ban.

Isaias Umali, 31, is accused of stabbing Dana Blake in the groin Sunday as the bouncer struggled with several of Umali’s friends in a Lower East Side club, Chief of Detectives George Brown said.

Investigators initially arrested three siblings who were at a birthday party with Umali and other friends, but prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to charge them.

Umali was arraigned on second-degree murder charges and was ordered held without bail.

The judge ordered a suicide watch for Umali, who had bandages on his throat and both wrists. Brown said Umali slashed his wrists and throat Monday after learning about Blake’s death.

Defense lawyer David Kruss said he was confident his client would be exonerated and added that Umali has no criminal record.

Police believe Umali stabbed Blake with a knife during the struggle in the club, but there are no eyewitnesses to the stabbing and no weapon has been recovered, Brown said. Umali’s arrest came after a tipster told police that Umali had told him about the stabbing.

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