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Third Suspect Arrested in July 4th Murder of Pizza Deliveryman

By  Carla Zanoni and Claudio Cabrera | September 25, 2012 8:09am 

Inwood — Police have arrested the third man they believe assaulted and killed a 22-year-old pizza deliveryman who was out celebrating Independence Day with his friends earlier this summer, police said.

Police arrested Bronx residents Jose Flores, 23, for the murder of Jose Reyes-Sylva after he was found sleeping on a mattress at a bodega on Sherman Avenue and Sickles Street on Sept. 19, police sources said.

Flores was charged with second degree murder and first degree gang assault, according to court documents.

Police said they believe Flores was one of the three men Reyes-Silva encountered after an Independence Day celebration at a bar on Sherman Avenue after he left work at Grandpa's Pizza on Broadway and Isham Street that night.

Reyes-Silva was with two friends when they were confronted by the group at the corner of West 207th Street and Vermilyea Avenue as they walked to the 1 train at approximately 4:30 a.m. on July 5, police said.

A brawl ensued between the groups, who police say may have known one another. The groups punched, kicked and whipped 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.

Reyes-Silva 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.

Police immediately 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.

They both pled not guilty when they went before a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court on August 16. They are due back in court on Oct. 10.

Police said that although Flores initially denied being at the scene of the crime at 4:30 a.m. on July 5, he eventually "admitted to holding the folding knife and swinging it during the incident" and claimed that he was acting in "self-defense" before running away from the scene.

Flores is next due in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday.