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Police Plead for Fresh Information in the Case of Louis Rispoli

Louis Rispoli

Aug. 27, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

Police are asking the public for fresh information as they continue their search for the suspects who killed a Woodside man almost seven years ago.

The 108th Precinct posted a video Friday pleading for new information in the murder investigation of Louis Rispoli, who was beaten to death at around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 at the corner of  42nd Street and 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside.

The video included sketch drawings of the two men believed to have been the perpetrators of Rispoli’s murder.

The NYPD has offered a $22,000 reward for anyone who has information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible.

Rispoli, a 62-year-old gay man, was killed after going for a walk at about 1 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 to ward off his insomnia. He was approached by two men at the corner of 42nd Street and 43rd Avenue at approximately 2 a.m. The two men had exited a white car, while a third man stayed in the vehicle as a lookout.

After an exchange of words, Rispoli was hit in the back of the head with a blunt instrument and he fell to the ground unconscious, police said. Rispoli was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital and died five days later.

Vigil for Rispoli

However, the case remains unsolved almost seven years later.

There was a wave of public outrage in the wake of Rispoli’s death in 2012. Rispoli was a well-liked figure in the Sunnyside and Woodside communities and was a well-known AIDS activist.

The NYPD was criticized for not launching its investigation in a timely manner. While the police arrived shortly after the incident, it took 36 hours before a crime scene vehicle showed up to conduct a thorough investigation.

Rispoli was a friend of Council Member Van Bramer who organized a march in the Woodsider’s honor about a month after his murder. Over 500 people participated in the march, which began on the corner of 51st Street and 43rd Avenue where Rispoli lived in Woodside and finished near the crime scene. The march’s intention was to make a statement: that this type of crime would not be tolerated in Sunnyside and Woodside.

The block where Rispoli lived was subsequently co-named in his honor. The stretch of road on 51st Street and 43rd Avenue was co-named Louis Rispoli Way.

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My thought was that he came across those tire-thieves during his walk. They used bricks to support the cars. After his murder, there were no new reports of tire thefts in Sunnyside for quite some time.


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