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Monday, 9 May 2011

Elting approached the City of Poughkeepsie bar on his bike with a Glock handgun tucked in his waistband.

08:39 |

The first time Congress Tavern owner David Auffarth saw Mahdi Elting was in 2006 — when Elting approached the City of Poughkeepsie bar on his bike with a Glock handgun tucked in his waistband.

Auffarth alerted police, and Elting ended up in state prison.

The last time Auffarth saw Elting was early Thursday morning — the 26-year-old's bullet-riddled body lying where Auffarth first laid eyes on him nearly five years ago.

"Where he was shot dead was the exact spot where I had seen him on the bicycle," Auffarth said. "When I saw the body, I realized it was him."

City police Capt. Steve Minard said investigators do not think the two incidents are related, though the motive for Elting's homicide remains under investigation. Police have charged James T. Wilson, 29, a City of Poughkeepsie resident; Cory Febo, 25, a Bronx resident; and Harvey Boone, 35, of Dover each with one count of second-degree murder. They are being held without bail in the Dutchess County Jail.

While Elting's friends and family mourn his death, state records and Journal archives indicate he had an extensive criminal history — the most recent being the felony weapons convictions stemming from the 2006 incident at the Congress.

Also in 2006, police listed Elting as a "general/founder" of the notorious Partners N Crime street gang. A joint investigation into the gang resulted in more than a dozen arrests late that year. Authorities said gang members were responsible for a homicide and robbed other drug dealers.

According to testimony at Elting's 2007 weapons trial, he was seen around 1 a.m. Sept. 16, 2006, carrying a handgun in the waistband of his pants as he approached the Congress. After Auffarth told police he had seen the gun, two officers chased Elting and found a loaded Glock 9mm semiautomatic pistol in an alley off Main.

"He pulled up the front of his shirt, and he's got a monster Glock in his belt," Auffarth recalled Saturday.

With the trial in progress, Elting stopped the proceedings and pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. State records indicate Elting was sentenced to three years in state prison. He was released last year.

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