QUEENS — Police released sketches on Friday of two men wanted for the murder of gay activist Lou Rispoli, who was beaten to death on a Sunnyside street in October.
The first suspect is described as a white male in his 20s, and the second as a Hispanic male in his 30s, police said. A $22,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the men, according to the NYPD.
The 62-year-old Rispoli was attacked just after 2 a.m. near the corner of 42nd Street and Queens Boulevard, police said. Witnesses told Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer at the time that they saw two men approach Rispoli, strike up a brief conversation, then hit him in the head with a blunt object. A third man was seen keeping watch.
Rispoli died five days after the attack, when his family took him off life support. He was a longtime Sunnyside resident who lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years, and he worked as an administrator at Greenwich House Music School in Greenwich Village. He had recently married his partner of 32 years.
Van Bramer was a close personal friend of the victim's, and organized a march and candlelight vigil in Rispoli's honor a month after his death.
"Lou was a very proud gay man and someone who worked for equality," Van Bramer said at the time, calling Rispoli a “pillar of the gay community in Queens.”
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 tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.