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Friends say Enfield teen charged with stabbing friend ‘snapped’

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ENFIELD — FOX61 obtained new information about what led an Enfield teen to allegedly stab his friend — nearly to death.

Jason Passalaqua, 19, was in court Monday. He was joined by teens who knew both the victim and suspect. They filed into Enfield Superior Court to watch the arraignment. Passalaqua is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder.

Passalaqua walked into court shackled and dressed in a blue jumpsuit to answer for the alleged stabbing of his 18-year-old friend, Mark Quinn.

“He has extremely strong roots in Northern Connecticut. He lives with his parents and his younger brother,” said Passalaqua’s attorney.

Passalaqua’s parents left the courthouse running to their car with coats over the heads to avoid the media. FOX61 talked with teens who knew both the victim and suspect.

“I just hope he gets the help that he needs,” said Ben Landry of Enfield.

They say one day something about Passalaqua just...changed.

“A normal person and then one day he just changed and started talking about weird things,” said Landry.

“A couple months ago Jason just started getting all weird in the head,” said Skipper Carlander of Enfield.

Newly obtained court documents show the two were friends and were hanging out Saturday afternoon at Quinn’s home at 27 Robbin Road to celebrate Passalaqua’s 19th birthday by smoking pot and playing violent video games.

Carlander said, “He quit his job recently because he wanted to make it big as a rapper. That’s stuff started to get to his head a little bit.”

The incident report details an argument that led to wrestling on the back deck, when suddenly...Passalaqua snapped. He allegedly pulled out a 4 inch kitchen knife and stabbed Quinn 7 times, puncturing his liver, kidney and lung.

“Then I heard, help! Help me!” said Stephanie Bustos.

Quinn was able to break free from Passalaqua and run toward 21 Robin Road, across the street from Stephanie Bustos.

“He hollered at the other guy and said...get out of here!” said Bustos.

Quinn eventually collapsed in the backyard of 21 Robin Road. Bustos chased Passalaqua up the street.

“But when the kid took off I said, like heck he’s gonna get away, so I followed him all the way up to Till until I heard police cars,” she said.

Quinn is expected to survive his wounds. “He should be coming home in a few days. He pulled through, which is good,” said Carlander.

If the story sounds familiar...it should. This is the second time in three months a teen has stabbed another teen in Enfield. “Hope it’s not the new thing, that’s all,” said Landry. In August Shyheim Adams stabbed Justin Brady to death. Emotions spilled over in court and led to a parking lot brawl. This time, state and local police were stationed at Enfield Superior Court to make sure it wasn’t a repeat.

Another bizarre parallel between Passalaqua and Shyheim Adams is that they both were heavily interested in becoming rap artists.

It was revealed in court that Passalaqua does have some mental health issues but does not have a criminal record.

He’s being held on half a million dollars bond. He will be in court next on January 2.

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