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Swiss father of New York murder victim 'stuck'

Malcolm Curtis · 26 May 2014, 22:33

Published: 26 May 2014 22:33 GMT+02:00

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The victim’s father wants to travel to the US to identify the body but faces problems because his passport expired on the weekend, 20 Minutes reported on Monday.

The victim, an Italian resident of Zurich who was in the Big Apple to visit a girlfriend, died from head injuries last Friday after being punched in the head by a man outside a convenience store in the Bronx, according to US news reports.

“They are preventing me from being able to grieve, to go see there where his soul departed,” the victim’s father told 20 MInutes.

His Swiss passport expired on Sunday but after hurriedly applying for a new one he ran up against American regulations.

Without the biometric passport normally required by the US he needs an emergency visa but “the American Embassy in Bern was closed on Monday because of Memorial Day,” the man, originally from Central Africa said.

As a result, he was unable to join the victim’s mother on a flight to New York on Tuesday.

He is also unhappy with the lack of support from Swiss authorities in dealing with the tragedy, a situation partly explained by the fact the victim was an Italian citizen.

“Foreigners are sub-citizens, and yet they live and pay their taxes here,” the man told 20 MInutes.

A surveillance camera captured the assault of his son on video, which has later circulated on the internet.

The local news website DNAinfo New York reported that the two men were involved in an argument shortly after midnight, just a day before the victim was set to return to his home in Switzerland.

The website, citing unidentified sources, said the victim walked away but kept arguing with the suspect before circling back and ripping off his shirt.

The video shows the suspect, a man with a black afro and star tattoos on his shoulders, rear back and punch the victim in the head.

Investigators believe his head hit the pavement.

He was taken to the nearby St. Barnabas Hospital where he was pronounced dead, DNAinfo New York reported.

Story continues below…

The New York Post newspaper initially reported that the victim was Swiss, which was later denied by the Swiss federal department of foreign affairs.

The suspect in the case turned himself into police who sought him for questioning. 

PIX 11, a New York TV channel, reported on the case:

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

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