QUEENS — The music school administrator who was brutally beaten on a Sunnyside street last weekend was taken off life support, said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who is asking the public for help in tracking down the attacker.
Van Bramer, a personal friend of the victim, Lou Rispoli, addressed members of the media on Thursday afternoon, alongside other friends of the victim, to encourage anyone with information to come forward.
The 62-year-old victim, an administrator at Greenwich House Music School in Greenwich Village, was attacked some time after 2 a.m. Saturday in front of 41-00 43rd Ave. between 41st and 42nd streets, according to Van Bramer.
Witnesses said that they saw two men walking with Rispoli along 43rd Avenue and after brief conversation struck him on the head with a blunt object, according to Van Bramer.
The victim "immediately went to the ground and he is now tragically dying at Elmhurst Hospital," said Van Bramer as he fought back the tears. "He will not survive and this will be a homicide."
The victim was taken off life support Thursday, Van Bramer's office said.
One of the witnesses said the victim got out of a car with the two men, Van Bramer added. Another man was seen in the car which was described as a white two door car or SUV.
Mark Horn, a friend of the victim's, described Rispoli as "loving and generous." "This is a man who opened his home that he shared with his husband of 32 years to people from all over the neighborhood," he said.
Horn added that Rispoli had trouble sleeping and often walked around the neighborhood at late hours. On Oct. 20, he went for a walk around midnight, he said.
It was not immediately clear if the victim’s sexual orientation was a factor in the attack.
"I don’t think people should be afraid to walk in the neighborhood," Van Bramer said.
The victim lived in Sunnyside for more than 30 years and was involved in Van Bramer's campaign when he announced his run for city council.
So far, no arrests have been made.