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Van Bramer Organizes March, Calls For Arrests Following Sunnyside Murder

Nov. 9, 2012 By Christian Murray

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.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

31 Comments

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MACK

This could be a random gang initiation killing…. a very difficult case to solve
The 108 Pct is lame and lazy… so don’t expect anything from them..
A terrible senseless crime and a big loss for all those who knew Lou.

Reply
JuliaJ.

What difference does it make that the victim was “gay rights activist”? He was a human being and a crime victim and I pray that his murderers are caught and punished. I wish Jimmy would not make a political deal out of this.

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Ted

The implication behind all this seems to be that there is homophobia in our police precinct that is making them drag their heels on investigating this case.

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Prententious Hipster

@ Phoenix

I was trying to tap dance around the drug deal scenario but since Hamburgler brought it up…. honestly what seems more likely – a drug deal at 2AM going bad or 2 guys in a car kidnapping random grown men? Especially with all the comments of drug dealing in other threads.

Again I hope they are interviewing his friends if they are serious about finding these guys…

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Bijan

Bad. Idea.

This is the exact type of thing that leads to abuse and false arrests. Put enough pressure on the police and they just get *anyone they can*. It’s happened over, and over, and over and over again.

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Local Hamburgler

@Krissi
@OM

Regarding him getting in/out of a car I thought it was fairly obvious he was buying weed or another drug. It may have even been uncovered that this was the situation and the 108th decided to not ruin the guy’s name with mixed emotions of him possibly smoking pot.

Either way, murder is murder and these guys should be hung from the Sunnyside archway on a Sunday afternoon.

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Chris

@ Juliaj I personally seen the shooting at new post. No one chased anyone he ran down the block meanwhile cops thought he was on the train I take the train all the time @ 545 when it happen.

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JuliaJ.

One murder is ten too many. I also think somebody will rat these guys out sooner or later. As for as the New Post goes, there were witnesses and the victim had been chased down the street.

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Anonymous

Excellent point, Hamburglar. The neighborhood has to be the squeaky wheel in this situation in order to get any grease from the 108th.

While there were some flyers up in the neighborhood for a few days, those are long-since forgotten and I would be that the vast majority of Sunnysiders are still blissfully aware of the circumstances of Lou’s murder. Couple that with the inaction of the police and there is virtually no chance whatsoever that any breaks will ever be made in this case.

The police really screwed this one up. For me, however, the march will serve as a way to get Lou’s face back out there and remind the residents of Sunnyside that this is still an unsolved murder with virtually no leads. Hopefully it will jog someone’s memory or convince someone to come forward with information.

And at the very least, as Local Hamburglar says, it might put some pressure on the 108th in the form of bad PR.

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Phoenix

Yes, Heartbroken, I’m aware of that. I meant that when he went out, he didn’t typically stay out till the wee hours. (In reference to the comment “nothing good happens after 3am”). However, it shouldn’t matter- we should all feel safe going for a walk whenever we feel like it. And I agree, it seems that information is being withheld.

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Ruben

Abuse of power…what an idiotic comment. The point of having power is being able to do something other people can’t. In this case someone he knew personally got murdered. If I had power I would have wanted posters to get these people dead or alive. It would be the wild west up in this mother.

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Heartbroken

@Phoenix Actually, Lou did walk around late at night a lot, for years and years. Folks all over the neighborhood knew him. Because of this, there is reason to believe lots of people out there have information that they are withholding.

The reward, by the way, has been increased to $25,000. Anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of Lou Rispoli’s murder please call 1-800-577-TIPS. Thank you –

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Phoenix

@PretentiousHipster- It’s sad that this needs to be pointed out, but I have seen this comment over and over again. The victim was seen getting out of a car with his attackers. That does NOT imply that he knew them or was friendly with them. He could have been coerced or forced into the car.

As to the other comment that “nothing good happens after 3am”, (@Chris) the victim left his home at midnight, and was attacked at 2am. We have no way of knowing exactly what happened during that time period but it was unusual for him to stay out that late. So possibly they were keeping him captive. They attacked him from behind, so he never stood a chance.

I don’t understand this ‘blame the victim’ type of commentary. Regardless of whether you think this march is an abuse of power or waste of police resources, you should care about what happens in your neighborhood and stand up to this senseless violence.

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Chris

@ long time Sunnysider. I lived here 30 yrs seen this neighborhood through it all. The 108 pct is full of lazy people. When the post dinner murder happen we only heard about it for 3 days this is going on weeks. What’s the difference between the 2 slain victims they both deserve the same treatment . Tell the 108 to ask the ok food employees cuz I no for a fact they seen everything

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Krissi

I absolutely agree Oppressed Masses.

It seems to me that he knew his attackers though. Very odd case.

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Long time sunnysider

Sometimes I wonder who the people are that leave comments on this site!!! If Sunnyside has never done u any good why don’t u just leave it Chris and go back to where u came from??? We obviously don’t need ur negativity in our neigherhood.At ” patriot” r u proud of ur comments??? Just because Lou was a personal friend of mr van bramers doesn’t mean he s handling this murder any differently. The killers need to be found and the 108 needs to step up,do their job and admit they messed up this investigation. I will b at the march for this victim to show my support for his family, and to support jimmy van bramer.

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JuliaJ.

There is no statute of limitation on murders. And there are SEVERAL UNSOLVED ONE in the Woodside/Sunnyside area. I have lived here long enough to know that.

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JuliaJ.

There is an unsolved murder: The New Post murder of about 6 years ago and no arrests. Somebody murdered in front of WITNESSES in a diner, and no arrests! A couple of cops told me they think that somebody will drop a dime on the perps in the Lou Rispoli case. Let’s hope so!

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Angray

I understand the frustration of the unsolved case. But isn’t the march counterproductive to divert 108th precinct resources to manage traffic and logistics rather than use resources to focus on the murder?

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Oppressed Masses

It’s a horrible event when a person in our community is savagely beaten on his head on a public street and left to die, regardless of the person’s gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, national origin, or whose friend he may be. It’s a good thing that as many people as possible join together to demonstrate publicly that we will not tolerate violence.

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Local Hamburgler

This isn’t purely a march against violence or for Lou. This is Van Bramer’s safe approach to give the 108 bad PR and hopefully force them to step up their game by making residents who aren’t local news junkies aware of their poor response to this matter. It is very important to show up for this as people need to be aware that safety is slipping not only due to the actions of locals but also the 108 itself.

Van Bramer can’t just send a memo and have police change their game but if the residents of the district sneer at officers because we KNOW they aren’t doing their jobs they will need to adjust.

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Chris

I live across the street from where the crime happen. Sunnyside never did me any good why should ppl go out there way for a councilmen friend. Lets have a walk to support the victims of hurricane sandy

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Chris

They may not want it as a vigil but it is. If he wasn’t a friend of someone with power this definitely wouldn’t be happening. Everyone knows nothing good happens after 3am. There were many witnesses that seen what happen police just don’t no where or who to start asking

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Heartbroken

Please note – as the poster suggests – that this is a walk against violence first and foremost. The loved ones of Lou Rispoli do not want this to be a vigil or memorial service for him, but rather a demonstration in the hopes that the neighborhood improve. This is what Lou would want. Please join us, all are welcome –

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Lucky Lou

@ Patriot: This is not an abuse of power. Most murders that have happened in Sunnyside in the last few years have been solved rather quickly. It’s now been almost a month and as you’ve read in the article, the police have no new leads. They didn’t bother investigating for 36 hours. You don’t see anything wrong with that? Imagine a friend or a loved one being beaten savagely and later dying, and then finding out that the police didn’t even bother investigating the scene until 36 hours later. I don’t know the victim, but I live near the scene of the crime and have lived in Sunnyside for several years. I am angry, very angry at how this investigation has been handled and I will be at the vigil. If you care about this community, I hope you will be too.

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Mark

Patriot, you make no sense.
When was the last time there was an unsolved murder in the district.
I guess there was the guy at the Post diner a few years ago…but that’s it.
I cant think of anywhere in Woodside or Long island city for years.

Other than crazies who kills their wife and jump off trains, there are hardly any murders here. So you sound very foolish.

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Toughlove

Totally agree Patriot. This happens all the time in queens and its Van Bramer buddy.

He reminds me of mayor quimby from the simpsons

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Patriot

I’m sorry his friend was killed but this is an abuse of power. If we had a march every time there was an unsolved murder there would be no streets to drive on!

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Pretentious Hipster

I would hope the police are interviewing his family/friends. He got out of the car with these guys so he obviously knew them at some point. Are they looking into that?

Such a horrible crime though.

Reply

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