INWOOD — A 19-year-old pizza deliveryman was murdered in the streets of Inwood after celebrating the 4th of July with his friends.
Jose Reyes-Silva, 22, was walking with two friends after celebrating the holiday with friends at a restaurant on Sherman Avenue hours after getting out of work at Grandpa’s Pizza on Isham Street and Broadway.
As the men walked to the train to go home, they were confronted by a group of three men at approximately 4:30 a.m. near the corner of West 207th Street and Vermilyea Avenue, police said.
A brawl ensued between the men, who police say may have known one another, with them punching, kicking and whipping each other with belt buckles, according to police and court documents.
When Reyes-Silva attempted to escape, he was stabbed with a sharp object in the chest, witnesses told police.
He later died at Columbia University Medical Center after doctors could not repair damage to his aorta and left lung, which was punctured during the fight, according to court documents.
“He was getting better by the minute and then took a turn for the worst,” said one law enforcement official of Reyes-Silva.
His family is reportedly working with the Mexican Consulate to return his body to Mexico for a proper burial in his homeland.
Police arrested Jose Ortega and Juan Zarasar-Moralez, who are both 22, and charged them each with one count of first-degree and second-degree gang assault, according to court documents.
The two men are due back in Manhattan Criminal Court on Aug. 1.
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who represents the area, said he plans to work with the family to help in their time of need and retain proper police resources in the area, including additional officers that have been temporarily assigned to the 34th Precinct since last summer.
Those police have overwhelmingly been placed in the precinct’s Impact Zone, which covers the southeast quadrant of the precinct, from West 181st to 190th streets, between Broadway and Amsterdam avenues.
“We call for the NYPD to retain the police assigned to this precinct in order to insure neighborhood safety,” Rodriguez said.