Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Public safety

Man charged in Clearwater park killing

CLEARWATER — A 22-year-old homeless man was charged with first-degree murder Friday in the early morning fatal stabbing of another homeless man as he slept in Glen Oaks Park.

Raul Santos Quinones admitted to police that he stabbed Anthony Dirienzo, 48, once in the neck with a 4-inch pocketknife, according to an arrest affidavit.

Clearwater police were called to the scene at 12:21 a.m. after a passer-by found the man in the parking lot of the park on Court Street.

Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw said police believe the men knew each other. Homicide detectives and forensics investigators from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office were on the scene about 3 a.m. Friday.

By 6 a.m., Clearwater police said, the body had been removed from the scene and investigators were continuing to gather evidence.

Quinones was released from prison on June 10 after serving just under four years of his four-year, eight-month sentence for aggravated assault with a weapon and burglary in Tampa, according to records from the Florida Department of Corrections.

At the time of his release, Quinones stated his residence as Extraordinary Life Church in Tampa.

On Aug. 9, he was arrested by the Largo Police Department on one count of theft of personal property by an employee and was released on Oct. 9 with time served.

Friday's arrest affidavit states that there is an indication Quinones has mental health issues.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Tracey McManus at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Follow @TroMcManus.

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