DNA leads to boutique slasher charges after Manhattan store manager’s nose detached

Desteny Cabrera, a manager at a Manhattan clothing store, shows the stitches across her nose and face after a man slashed her while she was at work

Desteny Cabrera, a manager at a Manhattan clothing store, shows the stitches across her nose and face after a man slashed her while she was at work on March 27, 2021. (Credit: Handout from Cabrera)

When 22-year-old Desteny Cabrera read about the latest subway slashing incident, the Washington Heights clothing store manager notified PIX11 that her own alleged slasher had finally been caught.

“He left fingerprints on the table and on the door,” Cabrera told PIX11 Monday.  “He got arrested May 4th.”

The NYPD confirmed that Joshua Morciglio, 29–who has a Bronx address and a criminal background in Pennsylvania–was arrested for the March 26 assault on Cabrera. 

Cabrera had reached out to PIX11 from her Harlem Hospital bed on March 27, after undergoing emergency surgery to reattach the tip of her nose. She told PIX11 she had no idea who the suspect was at the time or why he attacked her.

The young woman had sent us the March 26 surveillance footage from Stephx Designs on Audobon Avenue in Washington Heights. She was shown sitting at a desk and checking her cell phone as the suspect strode into the store.

“He asked me if I knew who he was and I said, ‘No,'” Cabrera told PIX11 back in March.  “Then he cut me and ran.”

The tall, slim suspect wearing black clothing and a dark mask had slashed Cabrera in the middle of the face.

“He definitely aimed for my face,” Cabrera said.  “I wasn’t wearing a mask.”

The surveillance showed a bloodied Cabrera running to the boutique’s front door and calling out for somebody to dial 911.

“The whole tip of my nose was completely detached,” Cabrera recalled.  “I immediately went to surgery.”

A review of the surveillance footage showed the same man had shown up at the boutique several times during the week before the attack.

Cabrera said even though she didn’t know the suspect, she remembered his distinctive features.

A slashing suspect dressed in all black
Police released this photo of a man in connection with a slashing inside a Washington Heights clothing store on March 26, 2021. (Credit: Surveillance handout)

“I told them he was tall, light-skinned, with light eyes,” Cabrera said.  “His height and weight.”

The victim said she was able to make a positive identification based on these characteristics. Cabrera added that she later testified before a grand jury, and Morciglio was indicted for assault. She said Morciglio made the mistake of leaving his fingerprints on the store’s front door and the table where she sat.

Some friends set up a GoFundMe page for Cabrera to help her with reconstructive surgery.

“Now, I’m starting to do laser scar removal,” Cabrera told PIX11.  “They have to rebuild the cartilage. My septum has multiple stitches.  I will need rhinoplasty surgery next year.”

Beyond the physical scarring, Cabrera told us she was having emotional problems. 

“My anxiety is bad,” Cabrera said.  “I can’t sleep. I go to therapy.”

Bail was set for Morciglio at $15,000, but he remains on Rikers Island since the arrest.  He had several outstanding warrants. 

“He will still be held,” Cabrera told PIX11, “because he violated federal probation.”

Cabrera said she was disturbed by the rash of slashings in the city, especially on the subway. She wanted other victims to know she feels heartened by a resolution in her case, which has DNA evidence to back up her identification of the alleged slasher.

“It’s happening so much, that at least we have one person down,” she noted, referring to the arrest in her case. “At least I know he’s in the system and he’s going to get what he deserves.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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