Fatal gash? Boyfriend charged in sword slashing

Woman’s death becomes year’s sixth homicide

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A couple weeks after her boyfriend allegedly sliced into her foot with a sword, Dayanara Carela was dead.

Her Nov. 18 death — following what police described as a “medical episode” afflicting the 44-year-old — marks the 50th Precinct’s sixth homicide this year, doubling last year’s reported three.

First responders originally were called to Carela’s home at 116 W. 238th St., on Nov. 3, to treat what they described as a large laceration to her left foot. Carela was taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital on Third Avenue, where she was listed in stable condition and then released.

Carela was the victim, according to police, of her boyfriend, 43-year-old Gilbert Nunez, who lived with Carela in her West 238th home, sandwiched between the Bailey and Fort Independence playgrounds. Nunez allegedly sliced into Carela’s foot with an unspecified type of sword, investigators said.

Dayanara claimed that Gilbert “struck” her in the foot with a sword around 9 that night, according to court documents, causing bleeding, pain and fear for her safety. She received multiple stitches for her wounds.

After an investigation, Nunez was arrested and charged with felony assault Nov. 5. Bail was set, but Carela “was not cooperative,” according to Bronx district attorney’s office spokeswoman Patrice O’Shaughnessy, so Gilbert was released Nov. 9 with the assault charges still pending.

But that wasn’t the end of Carela’s plight, police said, because first responders returned to her apartment Nov. 18, finding her suffering from a medical complication related to her foot injury. She was taken to Montefiore Medical Center, where she later died.

Carela’s death was deemed a homicide by the city’s medical examiner’s office. It was caused by a bilateral pulmonary embolism, due to what doctors called a deep vein thrombosis where her left foot was injured. Basically, Carela suffered what could be described as a blood clot from immobilization after her foot was gashed, which ultimately proved fatal.

The cut didn’t completely sever Carela’s foot, but the object — allegedly the sword used by Nunez — “penetrated through soft tissues, muscles and bone of the left foot,” said Aja Worthy-Davis, spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office.

Dayanara’s death isn’t the first time romance turned perilous in the 5-0 this year. Police arrested Jose Quinones, 49, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in connection with the shotgun slaying of Juan Flores in Kingsbridge Heights last July. Flores had been living in a Webb Avenue building with a woman reported to be Quniones’ ex-girlfriend, Deputy Inspector Terence O’Toole — 50th Precinct commanding officer at the time — told The Riverdale Press.

“The city has become much more violent,” O’Toole said at the time. “These people all knew each other. If there’s problems in your relationship with somebody, we have to know about it. If we don’t know about it, there’s nothing much we can do.”

O’Toole was succeeded at the 5-0 last month by Capt. Emilio Melendez, formerly executive officer in the 42nd, 44th and 46th Precincts. While another murder in the 5-0 may be a bit jarring to some residents’ sense of security, it’s still less crime-racked than Melendez’s former commands.

Ten murders shook the 44th Precinct this year, according to NYPD statistics as of Nov. 25, compared to seven in the 46th.

The 42nd is more on par with the 50th at six, although eight people were murdered there last year compared to three in the 50th.

“It’s a little bit more of a prosperous time,” O’Toole told The Press last month. “I think people feel safer. They seem to say we’re in good shape here. It’s not really that bad.”

The DA’s office, meanwhile, is continuing their investigation of Carela’s death, O’Shaughnessy said.

It wasn’t, however, immediately clear if that means charges against Nunez might be upgraded as a result.

The fact the case has been deemed a homicide doesn’t necessarily mean it’s murder or manslaughter, prosecutors said, but rather Carela’s death was not from natural causes.

Nunez is due in court Dec. 17.