Tag Archives: lou rispoli

Police put out new call for information in Sunnyside murder


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Sketches courtesy of NYPD

Nearly a year after Sunnyside resident Lou Rispoli was brutally killed in Sunnyside, police are renewing calls for clues in the case.

Around midnight on October 20, 2012, 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 October 25.

According to an eyewitness, a third perpetrator acted as the getaway driver.

Rispoli lived in Sunnyside with his husband for over 30 years. It was not clear if the victim’s sexual orientation had anything to do with the attack or whether or not he was robbed.

The incident is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force as a possible bias crime, said police.

In January, the NYPD released sketches of two suspects wanted in connection to the homicide.

Authorities describe the suspects as a Hispanic male in his thirties and a white male in his twenties. The suspects possibly fled in a white or grey four door sedan with a loud muffler.

A $22,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction for the persons responsible for Rispoli’s homicide.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Woodside street co-named after beloved community member Lou Rispoli


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Louis Rispoli will always be remembered as a great husband, friend, mentor and important member of the Woodside community.

Rispoli, who was attacked in October 2012 in Sunnyside and died at Elmhurst Hospital Center days later, was honored and celebrated on July 27 during a ceremony to co-name 51st Street and 43rd Avenue “Louis Rispoli Way.”

“It’s so important to continuously recognize people who were special, people who were very important to our neighborhood, even if they weren’t famous,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, a friend of Rispoli and his husband. “Lou meant so much to 51st Street. Lou meant so much to Woodside.”

Family, friends and local officials gathered at John Downing Square, one of Rispoli’s favorite spots, located in front of the home he shared with his husband of 32 years, Danyal Lawson.

“Everyone knew him and they loved him,” said Lawson. “He loved it here and I know he would be so proud to see his name on the street. In some ways, since Lou moved to Queens, this has always been Louis Rispoli Way, but now everyone knows it.”

During the ceremony, two sisters who Rispoli mentored performed a duet and another girl sang the song from the couple’s wedding day.

Rispoli was known for making everyone laugh and bringing joy to the lives of those close to him. He met

Van Bramer at a house party several years ago and later volunteered with Van Bramer’s 2009 campaign for City Council.

He also enjoyed frequenting many local restaurants and stores including Nunziato’s Florist, whose owner knew both Rispoli and his husband for over 25 years.

“For 25 years it was never just Lou or just Danyal, it was Lou and Danyal, and that goes for today,” said Mike Gioia, owner of Nunziato’s Florist.

He provided an arrangement for the ceremony with the words “Everbest,” which was how Rispoli signed off in letters.

“Lou and Danyal is truly the Louis Rispoli Way,” Gioia added.

There have been no arrests in connection with Rispoli’s death and the investigation is ongoing.

“This shows to Lou, who is up there, but also to the world, that we’ll never forget him,” said Van Bramer.

“We’ll never rest, we’ll never stop fighting for justice for Louis Rispoli.”

 

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Husband, friends mourn Lou Rispoli as hunt for murder suspects intensifies


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Deniz Hughes

BY MATT SURRUSCO

Lou Rispoli would have turned 63 on February 1.

His widowed husband, Danyal Lawson, grieved that day for his slain spouse, but he wasn’t alone.

Lawson, of Woodside, found comfort in a bittersweet dinner with friends and by visiting the couple’s favorite flower shop, Nunziato’s Florist, where he picked out two orchid plants.

“I always got Lou green orchids,” said Lawson, 60.

Since losing his partner of 32 years, Lawson said the community and a “huge family of friends” have helped him cope by offering food and emotional support. Hundreds attended a November vigil and march, and some – including City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, a friend of the couple – recently handed out police sketches of two of the three suspects wanted for the October killing.

“Everybody remembered Lou,” Lawson said. “When you live in a neighborhood for 30 years, it’s not an anonymous thing.”

 

Danyal Lawson (left), the widowed husband of Lou Rispoli, and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (right), distributed flyers with sketches of two suspects wanted in connection with Rispoli’s murder. (Photo by Matt Surrusco)

 

Rispoli, who was attacked October 20 in Sunnyside, died at Elmhurst Hospital Center five days later.

Rispoli, Lawson and friends had long planned to dine at a beloved neighborhood restaurant to mark Rispoli’s shared birthday with two friends turning 21 – twin sisters who were once Lawson’s piano students. About 20 people – gay and straight, young and old – joined Lawson on February 1 for dinner at La Flor restaurant in Woodside.

La Flor’s chef and owner Viko Ortega, of Maspeth, said he met Lawson and Rispoli about 12 years ago when he opened the restaurant. He catered their August 2011 wedding reception, a few weeks after they were legally married on the first day they could be in New York State.

In the days after Rispoli died, Ortega provided food free of charge to Lawson and his friends, who were staying together while they grieved.

“I’m sure he [Rispoli] would’ve done the same thing,” Ortega said.

For the November vigil, brothers Michael and John Gioia, who own Nunziato’s Florist, donated single white carnations for marchers to carry. They also put together a heart-shaped floral arrangement with a “For Peace, For Justice, For Lou” ribbon that was placed near the corner of 41st Street and 43rd Avenue, where Rispoli was attacked.

Lawson said people have asked him if he plans to move.

“Where would I go? This is my home,” he said. “I still love this neighborhood.”

“That circle of friends was our family that we made together,” he added. “And it’s an amazing family. It really is.”

Lawson said bringing the suspects to justice is not about vengeance.

“It’s about closure,” he said. “I just hope that they catch these people.”

“If they don’t, there’s always going to be this, something that’s not finished,” he said.

 

Sketches of two of the three suspects wanted in the murder of Lou Rispoli . (Sketches courtesy NYPD)

 

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Police release sketches of suspects in Sunnyside murder


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Sketches courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD has released sketches of two suspects wanted in connection to a fatal Sunnyside assault in October of last year.

Authorities describe the suspects as a Hispanic male in his thirties and a white male in his twenties.

Around midnight on 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 October 25.

According to an eyewitness, a third perpetrator acted as the getaway driver.

Rispol lived in Sunnyside with his husband for over 30 years. It was not clear if the victim’s sexual orientation had anything to do with the attack or whether or not he was robbed.

A $22,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction for the persons responsible for Rispoli’s homicide.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 71. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. East wind 5 to 7 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Halloween Haunted House

Visit for some thrills and chills! Stay for hayrides, treats, mulled cider and pumpkins on sale. Recommended for ages 4–12. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Deranged nanny allegedly kills two children of CNBC media executive Kevin Krim and wife Marina

A deranged nanny stabbed to death a media executive’s two young kids inside a posh upper West Side apartment Thursday— and then slit her throat in a botched suicide attempt, police said. The children’s mother, Marina Krim, walked into her W. 75th St. apartment about 5:25 p.m. and found a scene of unimaginable horror: her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son lying motionless in a blood-soaked bathtub. Each had multiple stab wounds.Read more: Daily News

City, Nassau police arrest second suspect in Cross Island Parkway shooting

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Music school administrator on life-support after brutal beatdown

A beloved music school administrator was brutally beaten by a stick-wielding thug while out for his usual midnight stroll, authorities said today. Lou Rispoli, 62, a longtime Sunnyside resident who worked in the West Village, is on life support in hospice care after an unknown brute pummeled him early Saturday. Read more: NY Post

Queens D.A. announces indictments in nationwide sports betting ring

25 people have been indicted in the nationwide sports betting ring that had tentacles in several Las Vegas casinos, where NYPD Inspector Brian O’Neil says operatives influenced legal betting to increase payouts. Read more: CBS New York

Black, Hispanic LGBTs more fearful than straights in stop & frisks

Black and Hispanic gays and lesbians in Jackson Heights are more likely to be harassed by cops than their straight peers — especially during stop and frisks, a new report claims. The Make the Road New York report, released Tuesday, also alleges that transgender women are particularly vulnerable to being arrested and charged with prostitution — often without cause. Read more: Daily News