Arrest made in beating death of NYC homeless man

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Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Piotr Wilk, 35, has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court for manslaughter in the death of a homeless man. The defendant allegedly beat the victim to death on April 29, 2021.

District Attorney Katz said, “This was a brutal crime in public view on a Queens street corner. The defendant allegedly beat the victim to death in multiple attacks, and is now in custody facing a very serious charge.”

Wilk, who has no known address, was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder yesterday morning on an indictment charging him with manslaughter in the first degree. Justice Holder remanded the defendant and set his return date for September 20, 2021. If convicted, Wilk faces up to 25 years in prison.

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District Attorney Katz said, according to the charge, the defendant was observed on April 29, 2021, after 4:30 p.m. allegedly using his fist and elbow to punch Lukasz Ruszyck more than a dozen times on the corner of Putnam and Forest avenues in Ridgewood, Queens. The 38-year-old victim appeared to be unconscious during the assault. Shortly before 6 p.m. the defendant was observed allegedly choking Mr. Ruszyck and putting him in a headlock.


Continuing, said the DA, the victim was taken to a nearby hospital several hours later with multiple bruises and bumps, including bleeding on the brain. Mr. Ruszyck was diagnosed as clinically brain dead and succumbed to the injuries soon afterwards.

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Senior Assistant District Attorney Tara DiGregorio, of the DA’s Homicide Bureau, is prosecuting the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John Kosinski and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

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