Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer will be leading a march on Nov. 17 along 43rd Avenue to remind the public that a local resident was savagely murdered on a Sunnyside street last month.
The murder took place nearly three weeks ago and there have been no new developments in the case. The police have said little since the attack.
“We want to bring light to this case,” Van Bramer said, “so that this is not forgotten and the killers are brought to justice.”
The councilman and the victim’s family have called the event a “March Against Violence.” It will start near the victim’s former apartment at 51st St. and 43rd Ave. and end with a candlelight vigil at the site of the attack at 41-00 43rd Ave (btw. 41st and 42nd).
Rispoli, a 62-year-old gay man, was struck once in the back of the head on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 2:00am. According to a witness, Rispoli was in a car with three other men. He then got out of the vehicle and began walking on 43rd Avenue with two of the men toward 41st Street, before he was brutally hit. The other man, believed to be tall, waited by the car.
Rispoli died five days later in Elmhurst hospital.
“Violence is not acceptable,” Van Bramer said. “We have to respect diversity and remind people that those who did this belong behind bars.”
Van Bramer said that he will continue to put pressure on the police to make arrests, although he did not comment on the way the police has handled the investigation. Residents continue to have questions about the way the 108th Precinct conducted its investigation. They want to know why there was a 36 hour gap between the time Rispoli was attacked and the arrival of crime-scene investigators.
“The 108th Precinct is aware of the march,” Van Bramer said. “I expect the Precinct to help with traffic and logistics.”
Local religious leaders reacted within an hour of the announcement on Thursday afternoon.
Pastor Neil Margetson of Sunnyside Reformed Church said, “I’d certainly encourage people to participate in the march and vigil. If asked I’d like to play a leadership role.”
Meanwhile, Father Brian Dowd of Queen of Angels Church said: “Lou Rispoli was a friend of our music director. We’ve prayed for him often and we support anything the Councilmember does to keep our neighborhood safe.”
Both pastors agreed to inform their congregations.