‘Duffle Bag’ Killer Claims He Has Alibi

BROOKLYN -

A man accused in the serial slayings of three Brooklyn shopkeepers says he is sure subway system surveillance tapes hold proof that he is innocent of at least one killing.

Salvatore Perrone, who left behind a trail of fear last summer when he targeted elderly Middle Eastern storekeepers — including two Jews — asked a Brooklyn judge Friday for access to transit system video recordings. He said they will show he wasn’t in the Brooklyn neighborhood where merchant Rahmatollah Vahidipour, Hy”d, was killed in 2011.

“I need the video,” he told Judge Alan Marrus at the hearing. “The office of the district attorney or  Charlie Hynes either directly or indirectly have suppressed my alibi.”

The apparel salesman said that the tape showed him entering the Parkside Ave. station at about 6:05 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2011, and never coming back out. Vahidipour was killed a little more than an hour afterward.

“I can’t be at two places at once,” Perrone said. “For sure the MTA does not lose videos. They don’t get lost or stolen.”

Warning Perrone that he had just told the potential jury pool that he was near the scene of the murder, Marrus assured him he will get any tape that could prove his innocence.

“I don’t quite have the same confidence in the MTA that you do, Mr. Perrone,” the judge said. “But I will say this: if they have it, you will get it.”

Melissa Carvajal, the prosecutor, said she has 127 videos relating to the case but extensive analysis of all the evidence would take at least six months.

Vahidipour was one of three shopkeepers killed over five months, allegedly by Perrone, who dragged what became his signature accessory, an oversized tan duffle bag, with him as he searched for victims. He was a regular scene in Boro Park during the time he lived in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors say that when Perrone was first questioned by detectives, he confessed to the killings of Mohamed Gebeli, a 65-year-old Egyptian immigrant, on July 6, and Isaac Kadare, Hy”d, 59, on Aug. 2. He offered the explanation that he was working with “the Palestinian section of the CIA.”

Doctors diagnosed Perrone with a personality disorder but a judge ruled him fit for trial. Neighbors of his said that they referred to him as “Son of Sal,” due to his sometimes violent nature.

Perrone seemed to admit during the hearing to other, unknown crimes.

“I have an alibi for each and every crime that took place,” he told the judge, without elaborating.