Woman Fatally Stabbed at Worcester Restaurant Was Attacked by Ex-Boyfriend During Book Club Meeting, Police Say

The alleged assailant in the fatal stabbing is also accused of invading the victim's home in April

The woman killed at a Worcester restaurant this week was attending a book club meeting and had just exited the bathroom when her ex-boyfriend allegedly stabbed her to death, court documents revealed Friday.

The documents identified the victim as Amanda Dabrowski, 31. The Ayer resident was stabbed multiple times at O'Connor's Restaurant & Bar on Wednesday and later died at UMass Memorial Hospital.

The suspect, 29-year-old Carlos Asencio of Derry, New Hampshire, was previously believed to have viciously attacked Dabrowski in her home before fleeing the country to Canada and Mexico.

Asencio has now been charged with murder, armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery and other offenses in connection with Wednesday's incident.

At his arraignment Friday at Worcester District Court, not guilty pleas to all charges were entered on Asencio's behalf. He was ordered to be held without bail at Bridgewater State Hospital, where his mental health will be evaluated.

The documents provided detail about the violent scene at the popular restaurant, as well as the relationship between Dabrowski and Asencio, who allegedly dated for three months.

After O'Connor's reopened Friday, a prayer was said for Dabrowski along the entrance ramp where she was stabbed.

"All she did was come in here to join her book club on a Wednesday night and read a book," said restaurant owner Brendan O'Connor. "Nobody who comes into our restaurant should leave in an ambulance and later die."

Surveillance footage allegedly shows Asencio pacing through the restaurant in an attempt to locate Dabrowski. The victim was in the restroom when the suspect entered the eatery and the two encountered each other on a ramp that leads to an exit of the building.

The video allegedly shows Asencio "viciously stabbing" Dabrowski numerous times with a knife, according to the documents. He allegedly had a long knife and a folding knife.

Several restaurant patrons subdued the attacker as they waited for officials to arrive at the scene.

"This gentleman obviously had his mind made up that he was going to do this horrific act," said O'Connor.

Asencio had previously been charged with breaking into the victim's home in Ayer early on the morning of April 21, officials said.

In that incident, Dabrowski heard noises and went downstairs to investigate, according to court documents. She told police she saw her window open about six inches, as well as handcuffs and a dark bag on the floor.

A masked intruder believed to be Asencio then came out of the bathroom and used a stun gun on her. The two ensued in a violent struggle in which Dabrowski used a broken vape pen, a bottle of alcohol and two kitchen knives to defend herself.

Dabrowski was strangled and had a gun pointed to her during the exchange. Documents state Dabrowski was able to shove the attacker out a window before he fled.  

The suspect allegedly took Dabrowski's cellphone, which investigators tracked into New Hampshire, eventually finding it in a bag with knives from Dabrowski’s home.

Following the incident, authorities issued an arrest warrant for Asencio.

Asencio allegedly drove his father’s car across the Canadian border and parked it at the Montreal Airport before taking a flight to Cancun, Mexico — all within hours of the Ayer attack.

It is unclear when Asencio returned to Massachusetts.

He is due back in court July 25.

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