SEEKING 3 MEN FOR S’SIDE SLAY
Reward Offered For Any Info
At an emotional press conference on Thursday, Oct. 25. City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer joined the friends and family of a Sunnyside man who suffered fatal injuries after being attacked on a local street corner last week calling for the assailants to be brought to justice.
Lou Rispoli, 62, was reportedly taking a walk around the neighborhood when two men approached him and walked alongside him down 43rd Avenue heading toward 41st Street at about 2 a.m. One of the men then hit Rispoli over the head with a blunt object in front of an area apartment building. They then entered a car driven by an accomplice and fled the scene.
Rispoli was taken by EMS personnel to Elmhurst Hospital Center.
“He will not survive, and this will be a homicide,” Van Bramer, a friend of Rispoli’s, announced in the press conference held inside his Queens Boulevard office. It was later reported that he was taken off life support on Thursday, Oct. 25, and later died.
“It is a tragedy for our community, a tragedy for the neighborhood, a tragedy for the city and a tragedy for everyone around me,” he stated, referring to his family and friends.
Mark Horn, a longtime friend of the family, read a prepared statement on behalf of Rispoli’s husband and family.
“Ask anyone who has known Lou to describe him, and the words you will hear repeated over and over are ‘loving’ and ‘generous,’” he noted. ‘This is a man who opened the home he shared with his husband of 32 years to people from all over his neighborhood in Queens, the city, the country and indeed the world.”
“That such a man, whose life has touched so many so deeply, should be struck down so violently is incomprehensible to us,” he added.
While Van Bramer stated that there is no evidence that Rispoli was attacked because of his sexual orientation, a member of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project was present at the press conference, according to a press release.
“I think this is a safe neighborwill hood, and it’s a safe neighborhood for all of us,” he stated. “We don’t know and I don’t think people should be afraid to walk the streets.”
Van Bramer noted that Rispoli was active in the community, and volunteered on his City Council campaign in 2009.
“This is kind of a surreal experience for me,” he stated. “He was a very very strong man, very funny, and brought laughter and joy to all of us.”
The 108th Precinct Detective Squad is currently handling the case. While they were eyewitnesses to the crime, there is no description of the perpetrators and some discrepancies as to the make and model of the getaway vehicle.
The apartment building reportedly does not have surveillance cameras, but officers are looking at nearby cameras for any leads.
A flyer is being disseminated throughout the area asking anyone who saw Rispoli walking in the neighborhood that night or who may have seen the incident occur to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) with the code TIP577, or submit a tip online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
A reward of $22,000 is being offered for any information.
All calls and messages will remain strictly confidential.