The suspect accused of killing his former boss and dismembering the body in a Lower East Side apartment was held without bail after his arraignment early on Saturday morning.
Tyrese Haspil, 21, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on Friday, for the death of Fahim Saleh, a tech entrepreneur. Salah, 33, founded a motorcycle sharing-turned-logistics company, Gokada, in Africa, and also had a firm, Adventure Capital, where Haspil worked as his assistant.
Saleh's cousin discovered his remains—his head, arms, and legs had been removed from his torso and placed into bags—in Saleh's $2.2 million apartment at 265 East Houston Street on Tuesday afternoon, July 14th. Haspil was identified from the building's video surveillance footage.
According to the criminal complaint, Haspil was spotted following Saleh into the building elevator on July 13th around 1:44 p.m. and then shooting Saleh with a Taser when the elevator opened onto the 7th floor. (The elevator opens directly into the resident's apartment.)
The complaint also details that video surveillance from a hardware store showed Haspil buying an "electric saw and cleaning supplies" at 9:30 a.m. the following morning. The Daily Beast reports, "Investigators ran a credit-card check and determined that Haspil’s was used to buy a saw and cleaning supplies from a nearby Home Depot the day after the murder. His card was even used to pay for rides to and from the crime scene, a law-enforcement source said."
A detective stated in the complaint that he saw an electric saw and cleaning supplies inside the apartment on Tuesday, "near the dismembered and decapitated torso." Reports suggest that the killer was in the process of dismembering Saleh's body when his cousin arrived, forcing him to flee by the stairs. The saw was still plugged into the wall.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined, per the complaint, that Saleh had "five stab wounds to the neck and torso, multiple incise wounds to the arm, multiple wounds to the left hand, contusion to the left forehead, [and] two lesions on the back."
A possible motive for the killing may be that Haspil was, as the NY Post reports, "caught embezzling more than $90,000 from him — even though the kind-hearted Saleh had offered to not call the police if Haspil paid the money back in installments." Assistant district attorney Linda Ford said, "We are awaiting records to determine whether or not [Haspil] made any payments and whether this murder was motivated by a desire to not pay that money back or a fear that the victim would’ve reported him to the police."
Haspil was arrested at a Manhattan apartment on Crosby Street, believed to be a short-term rental. Police have been searching his Brooklyn apartment, across from Prospect Park.
Haspil is being represented by the Legal Aid Society. His next court date is August 17th.