Friday, October 26, 2012
Hate Crime in Queens
Lou Rispoli, described by friends as the heart and soul of the gay community in Sunnyside, Queens, where he has lived for more than 30 years, was attacked by two men with whom he was seen walking at 2 a.m. on October 20 outside 41-00 43rd Avenue. He was hit in the head with a blunt object with such force that neighbors who heard the assault but did not see it thought he had been shot.
Rispoli has been removed from life support and is now in hospice care at Elmhurst Hospital.
“He will not survive, and this will be a homicide,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, fighting back tears, at an October 25 press conference.
Van Bramer, who is gay and represents Sunnyside, said the assault on Rispoli, whom he knew as a friend and someone who worked on his 2009 campaign, “is a tragedy for our neighborhood and our city.”
The victim is 62 years old.