Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bicyclist Murdered in Hamilton Heights

By Scott Curkin; Eyewitness News

A bicyclist was discovered with head injuries in a Harlem street, and detectives believe he may have been the victim of a fatal assault. Video Report from

Twenty-one-year-old Juan Espinoza-Navarrete was found at the intersection of West 133rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue just after 5 a.m.on Friday.

His orange and black Razor bicycle was lying next to his body.

Espinoza-Navarrete was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police initially believed he was a bicyclist struck by a car.

But when detectives reviewed nearby surveillance cameras (photos of Suspect and Suspect shirt to the right), they found grainy video of two men chasing the victim.

The video apparently shows one of the men ripping off his shirt as he runs after Espinoza-Navarrete. A suspect is then seen fleeing on foot, and returning to pick up a dropped cell phone.

Detectives suspect the actual assault occurred out of the surveillance camera's range.

Espinoza-Navarrete had bruises on the back of his head, but the medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

The victim lives near the spot where he was discovered dead, about a half block from CUNY's campus.

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