After he was brutally beaten in Queens last week the family of 62-year-old Lou Rispoli yesterday decided to take him off of life support. Rispoli, an insomniac who enjoyed long walks at night, left his house at midnight on October 20 and around 2 a.m. "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." It is unclear if he knew his assailants.

"He will not survive, and this will be a homicide," City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, fighting back tears, said at a press conference yesterday. "To see Lou in his hospital bedroom is to see a level of violence and depravity that you could not imagine exists. And whoever did this has got to be taken off the streets," Van Bramer told CBS afterwards.

Rispoli, a "pillar of the gay community in Queens" who worked at the Greenwich House Music School, had recently married his partner of 31 years. They met on the subway and had raised two daughters together. Nothing appears to have been stolen from him in the attack and police are not currently classifying it as a bias crime:

The one eyewitness who has come forward has not been able to provide much of a description of the two assailants other than that they were likely in their 20s. A third man, who stood lookout by a car that the group, including Rispoli, may have emerged from prior to the assault, was tall. The car has variously been described as an SUV or a white two-door.


Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

"Lou was a proud gay man," Van Bramer said yesterday. "He fought for full equality for our community. But I don’t know if he was attacked because he was a gay man. This is a good and safe neighborhood where gay men and lesbians can walk the streets and be who they are."