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Murder suspect in Dave & Buster’s Times Square stabbing claims victim punched him ‘out of nowhere’

Murder suspect in Dave & Buster’s Times Square stabbing claims victim punched him ‘out of nowhere’

The suspect charged with stabbing a stranger to death in a fight over a Times Square Dave & Buster’s arcade prize claimed to police the victim initiated the clash with an unprovoked punch.

Jesse Armstrong is charged with murder for the Saturday night slaying of 39-year-old Allen Stanford inside the popular video game-themed eatery.

”I was there, he punched me out of nowhere,” Armstrong, 41, told cops, according to the criminal complaint against him. “I did have a knife, and I took it out and I put it towards him and I felt it hit him.”

Stanford turned in his winning tickets and was reaching for a yellow drone on a top shelf in the prize room when he got into a fight with his killer about 10:45 pm Saturday, according to a restaurant worker who reviewed surveillance footage of the attack.

Armstrong feared the drone was going to fall off the shelf and strike a small girl with him, according to the worker.

“The guy that did it was with a child and a woman,” said the employee, who wished not to be named. “(The victim) accidentally dropped the drone near the little girl. It almost fell on her. That’s when they fought.”

The little girl and an older woman, believed to be the child’s grandmother, had walked off just before the fight began.

As the two came to blows, Armstrong, who has multiple face and neck tattoos, allegedly jammed a large knife into the victim’s chest before leaving.

“It was pretty brutal. [The knife] was pretty huge,” the employee said. “They were punching each other and that’s when [Armstrong] pulled out the knife from his back pocket and he stabilized him. It’s wild actually. He literally just puts the knife away in his back pocket and just walks out.”

Medics rushed Stanford, who lived in Washington Heights, to Mount Sinai Morningside, but he could not be saved.

A Dave & Buster’s employee gave cops a detailed description of Armstrong, who was wearing a green hoodie. Members of the NYPD’s Times Square detail nabbed the suspect, who lives in Harlem and has a long arrest record, a short distance from the restaurant.

Armstrong was ordered held without bail when he was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court late Sunday.

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