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Wall Streeter Killed in Canal St. Hit-and-Run

By Julie Shapiro | September 20, 2010 8:10am | Updated on September 20, 2010 3:47pm
Ronen Katz, 27, was killed while riding his motorcycle in TriBeCa on Sunday.
Ronen Katz, 27, was killed while riding his motorcycle in TriBeCa on Sunday.
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The Creativity Foundation

By Ben Fractenberg and Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Staff

TRIBECA — A successful young Wall Streeter known as a brilliant businessman with a penchant for volunteering was mowed down and left for dead Sunday as he rode his Ducati motorcycle near Canal Street and the West Side Highway.

Ronen Katz, 27, who lived in the East Village, was allegedly struck by Naisha Sutton, 25, as she made an illegal left turn from Canal Street onto West Street around 5 p.m., police said. Sutton, who was reportedly driving without a license, fled in her maroon Nissan Sedan and was later arrested after she surrendered to police in East New York, according to police and the Daily News.

Katz, who was riding a red 2009 Ducati toward the Holland Tunnel, according to the News, was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A man was struck and killed while riding his motorcycle on West Street Sunday.
A man was struck and killed while riding his motorcycle on West Street Sunday.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

Sutton, of the Bronx, is expected to be arraigned Monday on charges of leaving the scene of an accident, making an improper left turn and being an unlicensed operator.

Katz's mother, Leora Katz, told the News her son had gone out for a ride to enjoy the nice weather.

"There are only good things to say about him," Katz's mother said, according to the News. "A brilliant boy. I wish I had five like him."

Ronen Katz was a vice president at Angelo, Gordon & Co., an alternative investing firm, where he described himself as working "15 hours a day" in 2005. The company did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

Katz somehow still found time to help out at local nonprofits, including the Hebrew Academy for Special Children for disabled youth, officials there said.

“Not only was he wise in the business world, but he was a generous person in terms of giving back to the community,” said Rabbi Solomon Stern, executive director of the Hebrew Academy for Special Children. “He had a charitable heart.”

Stern said Katz helped raise money for his organization, which offers education and therapy for the disabled. Stern was planning to present Katz with the 2010 Young Business Leadership Award at the Hebrew Academy for Special Children’s annual benefit on Oct. 7, he said.

Katz’s neighbors on East 12th Street said they were shocked to hear of his death Sunday night.

Antoinette Debden, 26, who lives in Katz’s building, said he was full of energy and loved his motorcycle.

"He always seemed excited to get up in the morning and just live life," Debden said.

Del Vidaurri, who works for building landlord Metropolitan Property Group, said Katz just bought his motorcycle about a month ago and “was really excited about it.”

"He was a great guy," Vidaurri said.

Katz attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School from 2001 to 2006 and received three degrees: a bachelor of science in economics and a bachelor of science in engineering, both magna cum laude, and a master of science in engineering, according to the school.

Katz's apartment building on East 12th Street. He used to lock his motorcycle outside, neighbors said.
Katz's apartment building on East 12th Street. He used to lock his motorcycle outside, neighbors said.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

In 2005, Katz won a Legacy Prize from the Creativity Foundation, which honors extraordinary students "who show great promise, creativity, and dedication in their fields," according to the foundation's website.

Katz’s sister, Tamar Katz, is a well-known figure skater who has won the Israeli national championship three times.