A knock at the door led to a night of terror for Stafford Brown when a knife-wielding man, who police say is a murder suspect, pushed his way into Brown’s apartment.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Stafford Brown was making dinner inside his small apartment on the 10th floor at Parenti Villa on Monday night when someone knocked at the door.
Brown, 57, was exhausted. He’d had a long day at work, and he was still tired after a trip to New York City to visit his daughters and a new granddaughter.
So, his guard was down. He didn’t look out the peephole before he opened the door.
A desperate man with a knife rushed inside.
That afternoon, Nathan Spardello had attacked his wife, his sister-in-law and mother-in-law at their home in 146 Hazael St., according to police. Hours later, police say, the 28-year-old man forced his way into a third-floor apartment at 62 Russo St. and stabbed an innocent man, Luis Carrillo, 35, to death.
Spardello was on the run. Police thought he might go to Parenti Villa, a public housing high-rise in Federal Hill, because his father lives here. There are nearly 200 housing units in the 16-story building, which makes for a lot of places to hide.
Police were afraid of what could happen if they didn’t find Spardello soon. “This was a real dangerous guy, and he was on a mission to harm someone else,” said Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr.
Police officers were inside and outside the building, stopping the elevators and checking the floors where Spardello knew people and was likely to visit. “They were scrambling,” Clements said.
They didn’t know the fugitive was in a stranger’s apartment.
Brown stepped back as the man with the knife came at him. “I said, What’s this for? I don’t have any money. You’ve got the wrong apartment.”
The stranger told him to have a seat. “He said, I need a place to hide from the police,” Brown said. “I said, ‘Why here?’ “
Brown had just moved to Providence…