Ex-con Charged With Hicksville Hotel Murder

A parolee was arrested Tuesday for killing a 37-year-old man who was found dead in a Hicksville hotel room over the weekend, although the motive is still unclear, Nassau County police said.

Vincent J. Dalton
Vincent J. Dalton

Vincent J. Dalton, 51, of Ridge, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Erik O’Connell of East Meadow. The two had met less than 24 hours prior to the slaying in room 118 at the Econo Lodge on Duffy Avenue, police said. The victim died of blunt force trauma to the head, but investigators said they have not recovered the weapon.

“Upon opening the door, the [housekeeper] saw what she believed to be a large quantity of blood,” Det. Capt. John Azzata, commander of the Homicide Squad, told reporters during a news conference at police headquarters. “She also observed a body.”

The housekeeper then notified her manager, who went to the room and called police, who responded to the scene at 1:20 p.m. Saturday, authorities said.

Azzata said the two may have been drinking prior to the murder. Investigators are still searching for guests who were at the hotel that night to see if they saw or heard anything that may shed light on the case, he added.

Dalton was previously arrested 14 times—including eight times for violent felonies—and was paroled last year following a burglary conviction. He was apprehended in West Islip and will be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.