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Homeless Man Murdered in Sunnyside Park, Details Are Sketchy

Photo: iStock

Sept. 26, 2013 By Christian Murray

A homeless man was murdered in a Sunnyside park earlier this month and the public had no knowledge of it until Tuesday.

The victim, still yet to be identified, was assaulted at Sabba Park, located at 49th Street and Queens Blvd., at about 7:15 am Sept. 7, according to initial police reports. The victim was approached by three men and got into an altercation with one of them. He was punched repeatedly in the face.

The man was then taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he died days later—although that date is not known.

However, it was only on Tuesday, at the 108 police precinct meeting, that the public learned for the first time that the homeless man died and a murder had taken place.

Captain Brian Hennessy, the Commanding officer of the 108 Precinct, disclosed the basic information of the assault and homicide, but suggested calling the NYPD’s public information office for the details.

NYPD’s public information office, which notifies the public and press of serious incidents, still had the murder listed as an assault and was unable to name the victim.

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52 Comments

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Long time Sunnyside resident

At neigherhood watch why don’t u set up a date and time and location for the meeting and see how many people actually show up? It’s a great idea and I really hope it happens.

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Sunnysideposthatesme14

Just Joe– you’re part of the problem. People like you give the Change bum money…he stays in Sunnyside shitting under the train, pacing back and forth, cursing and spiting in front of food establishments. Does giving him money make you feel better? Like you’re doing some good and maybe that will get you to some promised land ?

. With all the money you yuppies are plunking down to make Sunnyside a hip and trendy place to be you guys better start telling your camera hungry councilman to invest in some HD cameras cuz you guys are inviting a whole buncha crime to our old neighborhood.

thanks!

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Just joe mc

I always gave money to homeless people, 1 viet nam veteran, 1 doctor, 1 long lost relative. U never know, u won’t miss the two bucks. Die hard new Yorker

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Neighborhood Watch

STARTING A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH:

If anyone is truly interested in creating a Neighborhood Watch type program for the Sunnyside/Woodside area please email me at: [email protected].

I’ve already contacted a few area officials and Sunnysiders who are active in the neighborhood to see how we can best legitimately get it off the ground or link up to an existing group that has similar interests in keeping the area safe.

At the very least we can put our heads together on how to better keep in touch and alert residents to what is going on in our area. Your support and volunteer efforts are needed in order to improve the current crime situation.

Email: [email protected]

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Marilyn

Just a word about the article. The man was assaulted in the park not murdered. He died at the hospital.

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JaneGrissom

The woman who shoved the guy into the oncoming train was arrested days afterwards; no arrests yet on murderer of Korean woman who was working late in a factory; no arrests yet on Rispoli murder either. But, when our city councilman was burglarized, the 108th got to work very quickly! Gee, I wonder why? Of course, some crimes are easier to solve than others and it appears that his burglar was not very smart but still . . .

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Bliss & Skillman

Neighborhood Watches are fabulous, if you don’t have any vigilantes in the neighborhood (think George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin). That’s a big “IF” considering the tone of several posters here.

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Sunnyside Native

I personally always feel more comfortable when I see a police officer around. I wish there was more foot patrol. 86Mets might think of foot patrol as ‘quaint’, but I like to think of it as necessary. They were still happening as of 2 years ago, which is the last time that I remember seeing two police officers walking through Torsney Park. As opposed to morning milk deliveries which probably ended here in the 5 boroughs back in the early 1960’s.

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Dave

@Webley, if you know the name of any criminal defendant, which is not hard if the media publicizes it, you can log into Webcrims at:

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/ecourtsMain

Here you can look up a defendant by name and get quite a bit of detail on where their court cases stand, the charges against them specifically, and other information. If you take the time to create an account you can also “bookmark” cases and be tipped off via e-mail any time there is an action. It works very well and it’s free.

I’m from the South where posting people on the web who have been arrested has become very common. Unfortunately New York City doesn’t seem to have such a system, the laws and protections regarding privacy surrounding arrests here are more complicated. That being said, there is this and it does work for finding out what happens to these people in the end.

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Webley

What significant difference does it make? Is it better if it was an assault compared to a homicide? Someone died as a result of some kind of attack, 3 on 1, and to think we have these people living among us is just disgusting. We never hear any one of these attackers get caught. Remember the woman who pushed the guy off 7 platform? What happened to her? What about the groper? It’s just that there is rarely active investigation, unless they come across something like the robbers who got caught by accident when they wondered too long in the back yards and someone spotted them.

And to the commenter who thinks it’s never a good thing to have too many cops, I am guessing they have a reason to avoid cops, must have some kind of tell that they will get stopped/frisked by cops… I mentioned this before, we need friendly cops around the neighborhoods who get familiarized with people, with daily routines, even with our area homeless. Why would anyone feel uncomfortable around a friendly cop who is always in the area, greet fellow sunnysiders, pick up donuts and actually walk around instead of sitting in the cruiser all day. There are some really nice officers at our pct, I met a few of them including a sgt.

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Sunnyside Post

@parks & death
The crime was initially reported as an assault (as stated in the article) and the posters that went up reflected that.

The posters did not state that there was a homicide– a significant difference.

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parks & death

Agree with JOR and Ben – if you are ambulating in the neighborhood, you will have seen the signs of this incident. It’s awful

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Scanner guy

The 108 pct is not 477.0375. It is 476.6115 it use to be 477.0375 many years ago it’s also shared with the 114 pct

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Dave

Owning a simple police scanner is one way to keep tabs in real-time and in general. According to web resources, Precinct 108 operates on 477.0375. Buy a cheap scanner at Radio Shack (no need to buy an expensive one as NYPD uses standard analog radio and if the goal is to monitor 1 or 2 frequencies as is being suggested here a cheapie is fine).

Of course, monitor responsibly. Don’t inject yourself into trouble and don’t bug the cops over broadcast points.

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86Mets

Cops patrolling a beat on foot are about as quaint and outdated as early morning milk deliveries.

Most cops just zip by in their cars and probably have no idea what’s going on outside their motorized cocoon.

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JOR

Like Ben above, I have seen signs concerning this crime posted in the neighborhood for the past several weeks, including a posting at the entrance to Lodati Park. I think it is more accurate to say that for whatever reason, the incident only game to the attention of the Sunnyside Post at the 108 Pct meeting on Tuesday.

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Heartbroken

Lou Rispoli’s murder involved three men as well, and there may be many more parallels that have not been revealed to the public. Our only real hope is for people who know the truth to come forward.

If you know anything about this most recent murder or of any other violent crime please call Crimestoppers at 1-866-313-TIPS. You do not have to reveal your identity to share information, and there is often a cash reward.

THANK YOU.

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Sunnysider4Life

So I have heard some talk in the past about starting a neighborhood watch in Sunnyside but it has never come to fruition because it “would offend the police of the 108 precinct” since it is there job to protect us, not ourselves.

At what point do Sunnysiders band together and say implementing something for the protection of our neighbors is more important than not hurting the feelings of our local police force?

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Mr. Magoo

Agree that now is not the time to make snarky comments about street renaming. We get it. A bunch of you newcomers don’t favor the street co-naming process. Get over it. More important things to focus on in the neighborhood, like the lack of cops walking the beat in Sunnyside.

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Long time Sunnyside resident

Whatever happened to the auxiliary cops? I used to see them in the neigherhood but I haven’t seen them in a long time. 48th street at night time s extremely dangerous but how often do u see cops there??? Never! 108th really needs to step up their game. Bring back the cops on foot. Less attitude from the 108th and more work please.

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EffieTrooth

It would be a great service to have a police blotter on this site. I am relatively new to the neighborhood and appreciate knowing what is going on. When is the last time the precinct held an actual meeting in this community?

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JaneGrissom

Several weeks ago some people were ridiculed for objecting to the street namings – now you see why some of us are tired of the selective honoring of crime victims.

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Sunnyside Native

@ 86Mets – some of your above comments are so dumb. The majority of homeless are mentally deranged. Oprah Winfrey herself offered a job to a local homeless man and he never showed up for it, but he kept the suit she gave him. My husband & I had Buck the homeless guy who always hung out in front of Met Food, stay with my Mother in Law in her house on Long Island during a particularly cold winter. He only stayed for 5 weeks, then opted to come back to live on the streets of Sunnyside. Homeless people often find a comfort / familiarity with living on the streets, because it is all that they have known. Try watching the documentary Reversal of Fortune. It’s great and eye opening! Also, nobody here has said that the life of a homeless person is valued any less than the life of a regular tax paying citizen. It’s hard to report the demise of a homeless person when he/she has no credentials / ID on them. Unfortunately, we truly do not HEAR of every crime (petty or large scale) that occurs in our neighborhood. Don’t you have any cop friends? I am ALL FOR starting a local neighborhood watch. I am born & raised here in Sunnyside & we used to have one in the late 80’s / early 90’s and I thgouht they were great and always felt more comfortable when they were around. Anybody??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversal_of_Fortune_(2005_film)

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Gary Marino

Random incidents like this are Bound to happen from time to time. The real shame is that someone will use it as an excuse to rally the seniors to demand More cops and that’s never good. Too many cops means cops running around looking for excuses to harass people because there is No other way to make their quotas… They also cost More Money. Their real role in society is to ensure revenue flow to the state, at our expense.

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John

Trying to imagine what it’s like to be a person whose first reaction to reading a story about a murder is to remind everyone how annoyed they are about street renaming ceremonies

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Outraged

*Baffled- Your information is so alarming, please circulate it. A neighborhood crime blotter is really what we need.

*Sunnyside Post- Could you please begin such a blotter??

As a side note, as a resident of Sunnyside for 15 years, the only cops I EVER see (car or foot) are the ones at the subway station watching out for kids who skip the turnstile. Sad, but true!

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Webley

Can we get Thumb UP/DOWN or PLUS/MINUS to vote silly comments out of articles and vote the good ones to top?

And about this murder, it is unbelievable that we are just hearing about this now, and to think about if there wasn’t a site like this, where would we get to know about these things happening in our neighborhood? Post office?!?

I do agree that Sunnyside is becoming less safe and this is probably due to no patrol of streets unless there is some serious issue going on, some streets are also pretty dark at night, I hope we can get more residents to install cameras, because nypd is not.

Just check out the article posted on gothamist, NYC just granted over $1 million dollar to a “certain” Williamsburg neighborhood to get 100 security cameras installed just because some crazy guy snatched and murdered a kid.. In our neighborhood we keep having these scary crimes including a guy who was kidnapped and tortured, Chinese lady stuffed in trunk, now this random homeless killing that sounds like a frat dare or some sort of ritual, and nothing is being done about them.. 1 million dollars! If that kind of money was spent in Sunnyside just imagine the difference, yet others can get with a wave of hand.

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86Mets

@M Kilpatrick

Sorry, but solving murders, muggings and burglaries doesn’t create revenue for the city. They’ll catch you in a nanosecond for parking in the wrong place but if your daughter or wife is raped, you’ll get nothing but a yawn.

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Michael Kilpatrick

Where is the police presence in our neighborhood? We have plenty of traffic cops doling out tickets as much as possible but our safety is being seriously compromised. Sunnyside/Woodside residents need to demand that our streets be policed at night. Btw, my car was broken into last week on 39th Street/45th Street. I didn’t even bother reporting it…..again!

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86Mets

Why is this man’s murder and life worth less the the life of Lou Rispoli or Ben Wheeler? Perhaps because his death doesn’t provide any political mileage and he wasn’t a personal friend of JVB.

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JaneGrissom

A body was also fished out of the water in LIC the other day. Why was the murder of this homeless man not revealed until now? I guess the 108th does not want any more “pressure” put on them now that they have apparently solved the Van Bramer burglary. Yes, and where is the candle light vigil? The new captain looks as if he would like to go on vacation.

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Left as soon as possible

The above post says it all, in New York, collecting revenue from a traffic ticket is much more important than the safety of our citizens. The fact that these homeless vagrants are allowed to live on the streets, and confiscate our parks as their own homes is rediculous . They should be offered the appropriate help, then if refused arrested for vagrancy.

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beat up

I saw those police posters around lots of parks. But they didn’t say anything other than some guy got beat up real bad.

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Sue

Tragic, and outrageous that the public wasn’t informed sooner. How do they expect to solve a crime if they don’t inform the community that something happened? How can they expect to deter this type of horrific crime, preying on the most vulnerable members of society, if no one talks about it and the perpetrators can rest easy? Sunnyside Post, thank you for informing us, and please follow up on the story.

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Sunnysider for Life

Why doesn’t the city have security cameras on the public parks.
They spend funds on traffic cameras for red light tickets but when it comes to other public safety there is none. bad, bad bad!!!

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Ben

There were NYPD signs up by the park and surrounding streets for the past two weeks describing the crime and requesting more information.

This wasn’t in the papers but it was hardly hidden.

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Sycamore

We need more facts before we come to any conclusions.

Christian, how about some follow up about the man who was imprisoned and tortured on 39th St. and 43rd Avenue. What ever happened to that case?

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Baffled

There have been quite a number of incidents that have been kept quiet in the neighborhood lately particularly on 48th Street (south side):

1.) Police canvassed 48th Street (southside) with wanted flyers offering a $2,000 reward for information on an attack on a 36 year old man who was robbed by 3 men using 2 stun guns. They stunned him and took all of his belongings. The incident took place on Sept 11th but residents (who live on 48th St) weren’t told until a week after.

2.) There was a massive drag race this past Friday under the expressway on Laurel Hill Blvd and 48th Street between Calvary Cemetery involving 50-100 race cars and motorcycles at 1 a.m. This has been a regular occurrence all summer. Despite residents reporting the drag races to 911, 311 and the 118th Precinct they continue each weekend. They race up and down Laurel Hill Blvd, and take 48th Street to the expressway and head to Maspeth and circle around again.

3.) Groups of men/teenagers walk the streets of Sunnyside/Woodside mugging and purse snatching regularly. Residents hang the empty bags along the wrought iron fences for people to claim their bags the next morning (you can see this off of the south side between Queens Blvd/Greenpoint and 48th Street).

4.) A super and his wife saw a lady walking down the street with 4 men in pursuit of her. Feeling for her safety they walked with her the rest of the way to her apartment building and warned her that it wasn’t safe at night between 41st and 44th streets because there is a group jumping people.

The entire population of Sunnyside/Woodside should be made aware of these type of crimes so that more people can be on the look out. Also, maybe residents wouldn’t have such a false sense of security if they knew what was really going on after dark.

A neighborhood watch group should organize if the police can’t curtail the crime and make our area safe again.

If the Sunnyside Post ran a Police Crime blotter list weekly I’m sure it would shock people into action. We need to know about what is going on in the whole neighborhood and surrounding areas such as Woodside/Maspeth (not just Sunnyside Gardens).

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86Mets

@David

I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that any homeless people living on the streets didn’t choose to be living on the streets.

Excuse me sir, would you like to live in a comfortable, warm and safe house or would you prefer to live out in the cold street, no running water, food, toilet etc…?

Choose.

Anyone who chose the street is clearly mentally deranged.

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Long time Sunnyside resident

17 days later and the public are finally told about this. What a disgrace! I can bet you if he wasn’t homeless and was a friend of anyone in the public limelight we would have heard about this long before now. I guess the murder of a homeless person is not important in our community.

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David in Sunnyside

This is terrible. The homeless (we have several who seem to choose to live outdoors year round) in Sunnyside get generally good treatment from the residents and businesses here from what I’ve witnessed. Without a photo or description, I am going to be on the lookout for the “regulars.”

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Rich Klein

The public has a right to know if and when a murder takes place in their community, particularly if the assailants are still on the loose! I hope the Sunnyside Post stays on this story and gets more information about why such a delay from NYPD. It’s tragic enough that someone is homeless and even more tragic if, as alleged, he was brutally beaten to death.

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