Through tears, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer pleaded for information leading to the capture of those responsible for the murder of a close personal friend.
Around midnight on Saturday, October 20, Lou Rispoli, 62, left his Sunnyside home for a late night walk as he sometimes did to quell his insomnia. At roughly 2 a.m. on 43rd Avenue between 41st and 42nd Street, two unidentified men approached Rispoli, exchanging in a brief conversation before striking him over the head with a blunt object. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he died from his injuries on Thursday, October 25.
According to an eyewitness, a third perpetrator acted as the getaway driver. It was unclear as to whether or not Rispoli knew his attackers.
“Whoever did this for whatever reason has to be brought to justice,” said Van Bramer.
Rispoli, who lived in Sunnyside with his husband for over 30 years, was known for making everyone laugh and bringing joy to the lives of those close to him.
“It is difficult enough to know we’ve lost Lou,” said Mark Horn, a friend of Rispoli’s. “It’s impossible to believe the people who did this will get away with it.”
Rispoli and Van Bramer met at a house party several years ago and Rispoli volunteered with Van Bramer’s 2009 campaign for city council.
It was not clear if the victim’s sexual orientation had anything to do with the attack or whether or not he was robbed. There is no description of the attackers.
“This is a safe neighborhood,” said Van Bramer. “For any of us, any time there is a violent attack on anyone in the neighborhood, it’s an attack on all of us.”