Lovers' Quarrel Turns Into Violent Stabbing in NYC

PHOTO Coit was stabbed to death in her lower east side apartment by her then boyfriend Raul Barrera who has recently stepped forward and confessed to the crime.
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A lover's quarrel turned into murder over the weekend in New York City. A violent confrontation between 23-year-old saleswoman Sarah Coit and her 33-year-old boyfriend Raul Barrera escalated into a vicious stabbing while anxious neighbors dialed 911 for help.

"She was screaming 'No, no, stop, stop!'," witness Briana Andalore told New York's WABC. "And there were all of [these] things going on. And when we got in at 2:38 a.m., there were police everywhere."

Police responded to the scene after neighbors who heard bloodcurdling screams coming from the apartment on Clinton Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side, dialed 911.

"We didn't think it was so severe, [but] we looked outside the window and her whole head was, like, off," continued Andalore. "It was so horrifying!"

A Horrific Scene

Although police dispute whether Coit's neck was injured, the police report portrays a scene that even a grizzled NYPD detective would find chilling.

On arriving at the apartment, police heard sounds coming from a person inside. The officers broke the door down to reach the victim, who was lying on the floor in a pool of blood. She was bleeding from "stab wounds on her face and her torso, including one wound that the woman's internal organs were protruding from," according to the police report. A wound indicating blunt force trauma was found on the victim's skull.

Emergency medical personnel rushed Coit to Beth Israel Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Police spent the day yesterday combing the crime scene to gather clues in the case.

History of Violence

Neighbors told WABC the couple could often be heard arguing in their apartment. Another incident in January at an apartment the couple shared in midtown also led the police to respond after neighbors dialed 911.

Violent Stabbing Rocks NYC

After he turned himself in, Barrera allegedly told police the incident followed a particularly heated argument between the two. During the argument, Barrera started to physically assault Coit and "became enraged," according to police.

He then allegedly grabbed a knife that had fallen to the floor during their tussle and began stabbing Coit repeatedly.

Barrera, who works in public relations, is being held without bail after turning himself in on Sunday, and is charged with second-degree murder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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