Lawrence police investigate stabbing on Jackson St.

AMANDA SABGA/Staff photo. Police are investigating a stabbing at 233 Jackson St. in Lawrence. The building is facing additional scrutiny from city inspectors due to the crimes reported there, including the death late last year of 11-year-old Precious Wallaces, police said.  

LAWRENCE — Police are investigating a stabbing that occurred at a Jackson Street apartment building where an 11-year-old girl fell into a coma and died late last year. 

The building at 233 Jackson St. is also facing additional scrutiny from city inspectors due to the crimes reported there, police said. 

Wednesday night's incident at 233 Jackson St. is not related to the December 2018 murder of Precious Wallaces, however, police said. 

There was a police presence at the building both Wednesday night and Thursday morning as officers searched for the suspect in the stabbing of a 44-year-old man, police said. 

Just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, police found the stabbing victim sitting in a chair in front of neighboring 231 Jackson St., according to a police report.  An officer said the man had multiple, bloody stab wounds to his abdomen but the officer could not see how many. 

The victim was initially evasive with police and said he didn't know who stabbed him, according to a police report. 

But a witness told police the man who stabbed the victim lived in an apartment at 233 Jackson St., a building with numerous one-room apartments and common bathrooms. 

The victim, as he was being loaded into an ambulance, then told police the boyfriend of the building manager at 233 Jackson St. had stabbed him, according to the report.  

The man was taken to Lawrence General Hospital for treatment. Police put out an alert over the police radio for the suspect, broadcasting his description. 

Officers also questioned the apartment building manager, who gave them conflicting information, according to the report by Officer Lillian Santana. 

The woman said she did not see the stabbing when it happened, but knew which way the suspect fled, according to Santana's report.

An officer asked the woman "how she did not observe the stabbing when it occurred but was able to see the male when he proceeded to go toward Avon Street."

"It should be noted the statements (the woman) was stating to me were not making any sense," Santana wrote. 

A short time later, detectives arrived at the apartment building and spoke to the woman. She "admitted to them she knew who the suspect of the stabbing was" and that it was her boyfriend, according to Santana's report. 

A warrant was issued for the man on charges of assault to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He remained at-large as of late Thursday afternoon. 

In the wake of the stabbing, police Chief Roy Vasque said the city's inspectional services department was in the process of conducting a full inspection of the apartment building. 

"Due to the seriousness of the calls coming from there," he said. 

A former tenant of 233 Jackson St., Miguel Rivera, 58, is currently held without bail and charged with drugging, raping and murdering his grandniece, Precious Wallaces.

Rivera was indicted this spring on five charges: murder, rape of a child by force, aggravated rape of a child, indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14 and distribution of a class E substance to a minor. His case is pending in Salem Superior Court. 

The alleged crimes date back to Dec. 15, 2018, when Precious fell ill at his apartment, and later died in a Boston hospital.

Investigators said the girl and her brother routinely visited Rivera at his apartment. 

Owned by Durso Properties of Andover, the white, vinyl-sided building is currently valued at $553,000 and was built in 1910, according to city assessing records. 

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 

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