Authorities claim Daquan King, 23, strangled 54-year-old Savyon Zabar after a late-night romantic encounter inside Zabar’s Upper West Side apartment went sour, police said.
Zabar’s roommates discovered him lying face up on his bed inside the fourth-floor apartment on W. 81st St. near Amsterdam Ave. at about 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 4, cops said.
Detectives identified King as a suspect early on and he was hiding out at a relative’s house in the Bronx, where police nabbed him Friday morning, sources said.
Zabar, who was known to his friends as "Big Ben" was buried Friday morning on Staten Island, said his assistant, Louie G.
The popular nightclub owner’s mother and brother had flown in from Israel for the funeral, and were greeted by detectives with news of King’s arrest when they returned to Zabar's apartment.
"It's the happiest thing I've heard, ever," Louie G said.
The accused killer had five prior arrests, for robbery and grand larceny, police said. He was ordered held without bail at his arraignment late Friday and is due back in court Jan. 18.
"He was a very normal guy who we knew had a previous record," Louie G said. "He didn't seem like a threat to anyone, but people change."
Zabar had owned and managed the Latin gay club Escuelita on W. 39th St. until it closed last February.
A larger memorial service with friends and family will be held for Zabar in about two weeks, Louie G said