Authorities claim a fugitive entered an elderly man’s apartment and fatally slashed him in the throat before helping himself to a snack. Defendant Dion Pelzer, 30, ate food belonging to victim David MacDonald, 75, slept on the slain man’s couch, and left the following morning, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts.
Prosecutors said Pelzer was wanted out of Brooklyn, New York, for slashing a person on Jan. 23 with a knife, leaving the victim with numerous wounds. Weeks later, on Feb. 15, he would up at MacDonald’s apartment building in the West End neighborhood of Boston. Surveillance footage showed him entering the secured building behind a resident at about 9:30 p.m., authorities said.
“Pelzer took an elevator to the 11th floor, where video shows him attempting to enter numerous apartments,” the DA’s office wrote. “He then took the elevator down to the 10th floor before returning to the 11th floor to continue testing doors.”
MacDonald often left his door unlocked so neighbors and good Samaritan services like Meals on Wheels could bring food without him having to get up and open the door, authorities said.
Prosecutors claim Pelzer entered the apartment and carried out the crime. Surveillance video allegedly showed Pelzer leaving the building at about 9:13 a.m. the following day. He had stolen MacDonald’s wallet, credit cards, and keys, prosecutors said.
MacDonald’s neighbors later knocked on his door, which was closed and locked, prosecutors said. No response. Boston police performed a well-being check and discovered him. He was pronounced dead at the scene, they said.
Authorities obtained an arrest warrant against Pelzer on Friday, the DA’s office said. Boston police found Pelzer when responding to a disturbance at Tufts Medical Center, prosecutors said.
“Officers were searching for the suspect when they received a radio call to assist Tufts Medical Police with a removal,” cops wrote. “Officers responded to the area of 37 Bennett Street to assist, and after a violent struggle, the suspect was able to be placed into handcuffs. Officers conducted a CJIS inquiry of the suspect which revealed that he had a Murder warrant for his arrest. Officers also learned that the suspect was wanted by the New York City Police Department.”
Pelzer was held without bail. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for April 12.
“Everything about this case is terrifying, from this man surreptitiously entering a secured residential building, to his testing the doors on numerous units, and, ultimately, to his brutal killing of Mr. MacDonald and his remaining in the apartment with the body until the next morning,” Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said. “This is a tragic reminder of how important it is to be alert to a non-resident attempting to slip into a locked building behind you.”
Boston police ask that anyone with information on the murder case to call homicide detectives at 617-343-4470.
Community members wishing to assist in this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.
To those who find themselves in need of emotional support or simply needing to talk to someone about distressing events in our community, the Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) provides free, private support 24/7 at (617) 431-0125.
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