A man has been charged with murder after stabbing a woman to death in her apartment block.
Fernando Munera, 26, from New York, was under a restraining order not to contact his ex-girlfriend, Alayna Hardy, but that did not stop him from entering her apartment in Harlem via the fire escape on Wednesday and stabbing her to death.
Since February this year, the restraining order against Munera had been in place when a judge imposed the restriction following a domestic incident where Munera allegedly took away Hardy’s phone and kept her trapped in a bedroom.
Alayna Hardy, 27, called 911 at approximately 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, informing police that Munera was on the fire escape of her apartment block on East 115th Street.
Hardy told the police that Munera was trying to break in. Police from the 25th Precinct “simply took a report and left” but did not search for the man. Hardy had already filed six domestic violence reports against him.
Munera had been seen walking up and down First Avenue earlier the same day with “hatred in his eyes,” according to a neighbor.
He was scheduled to appear in court the following morning in connection with the case in February and was reported to be saying “f*** this b****.”
The neighbor, who saw him, said he believed “someone was going to get hurt.”
Although police arrived at the scene following the call from Hardy that night, Munera had fled the apartment but returned 30 minutes later and stabbed his victim repeatedly.
Police say Hardy “desperately fought back” against her attacker, causing him to sustain injuries to his chest and neck.
Alayna Hardy was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead from the injuries. Munera remains in the hospital in a life-threatening condition. He has been charged with murder, burglary, and criminal contempt.
It is not known how long Hardy and Munera had dated, but a social media post on Hardy’s Instagram account shows the former couple hugging in December 2020.
Hardy was a world traveler, according to her Instagram page, and she was working hard to earn her bachelor’s degree.
Lorin Hardy, her father, wept and confessed that he tried to get her away from the “dangerous relationship” with Munera and added: “She was a good person. She was a loving person, and she just got hooked up with a jealous, crazy psychopath. I told her — I said, “Cut it off. You have to make a clean break, because every time you talk to him, you’re giving him hope.”
Domestic violence expert Dorchen Leidholdt, the Sanctuary for Families legal center director, slammed the police for failing this young woman.
Dorchen Leidholdt said it is “inexplicable” that the police “simply left” when they were aware that Munera and Hardy lived in the same apartment complex.
Leidholdt explained: “The police should’ve been there. They should’ve looked for him, and they should’ve assessed the danger and understood … that this victim was at a great risk of danger, and they should’ve stayed on the scene for at least for an hour. That’s an inadequate response … this had a risk of lethality written all over it. It’s heartbreaking.”
Leidholdt went on to say: “Seven calls to the police? Escalating violence? Multiple lethality dangerousness factors and he appears that he lived in the building and the police didn’t stick around to protect this victim? That is unconscionable. And I suspect that if this had been a stranger incident, or an incident that did not involve an intimate partner, that the police would’ve provided a greater degree of protection, the system failed her.”
Alayna Hardy was a nursing student.