The Hezitorial Homicide Exclusive Published on August 19, 2017
City of Yonkers Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Dean Politopoulos issued the following statement received by the Yonkers Tribune on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 1:30pm. It can be found after the publication of the Yonkers Tribune original report herein.
YONKERS, NY — August 19, 2017 — Three people were witnessed to have beaten Richard Harley in the wee hours of August 15, 2017, in the vicinity of Herriot Street and Jackson Street, near the vicinity of Cerrato Park. The area is known to be a place where rival gangs and drug dealers and buyers congregate. A witness to the beating called the Yonkers Police Department. Yonkers Police Officers arrived at the scene noted by the witness to only find a trail of splattered blood that would lead them to Harley’s residence at 108 Jefferson Terrace, in Apartment 5A.
Mr. Harley was recognized to have been severely beaten. First Responders were called. Mr. Harley’s speech was slurred as if he were inebriated. He was conscious, uncooperative, and combative in his response to the Police Officers. First Responders transported Mr. Harley to St. Joseph’s Medical Center. It was at the hospital that he received medical attention upon recognition of his many injuries.
It was recognized from his distended abdomen that he was in the throes of internal bleeding. The assault he suffered was evidenced upon noticing his dislocated shoulder, as well as when multiple broken ribs were noted that conformed to the tip YPD had learned about from the 911 call.
While medical attention was swift, Mr. Harley died the same morning after 10am from the assault he suffered at the hands of three men of color that beat him to a pulp. Harley was White.
This revelation, kept under wraps by Yonkers City Hall, exposes Mayor Mike Spano’s many concerns to which he is failing to respond in a balanced and timely manner. By waiting two years before hiring an additional 35 Probational Police Officers last month to save a few bucks, this incident proves City Hall has waited far too long. No Yonkers Detectives were assigned to this case.
It was in the morning of his admittance that St. Joseph’s Medical Center would come to call YPD of Richard “Ricky” Harley homicide.
There are only two Yonkers Police Detectives assigned every night for the City of Yonkers, the fourth largest city in New York State. Imagine that, a city officially recognized with a population of 200,000 people and an unaccounted for population of residents amounting to an additional 50-75,000 surmised to also live within Yonkers border not recognized. Only two Yonkers Police Detectives!
The City of Yonkers, every municipality for that matter, is responsible to inform community residents of a homicide in order that such cases not become cold. YPD needs to immediately act upon investigating all such incidents so as to warn the community of what transpired, perhaps gain greater insight to what YPD may have been unaware, so that they may learn if the situation could have been avoided, if at all. Holding this incident under wraps, with insiders suggesting there is a need to await a toxicology report from the Medical Examiner is an excuse that is superfluous to the needs of the community at large to learn of the homicide.
No excuse is acceptable. City Hall’s conduct is contemptuous of the people who may be next victimized by the perpetrators yet to be identified in this case having been relegated to that of a Cold Case. Welcome to CSI Yonkers, where even death can be toyed with, as are the people who reside in Yonkers Downtown
The Yonkers Police Officers that ultimately found Mr. Harley and called the First Responders completed their task. Because no Yonkers Detectives were assigned to the Harley case before his demise, greater scrutiny and insight has gone wanting. The case now four days cold will unlikely be solved. Blame Yonkers City Hall, Mayor Mike Spano, and Yonkers Police Commissioner Gardner. Collectively they will each have to answer to their maker.
Instead of responding to the needs of the citizenry who reside in the vicinity, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano would prefer not to let anyone know that the Yonkers Downtown district is not more than a stone throw away, as he dismisses protecting the community that is most affected by this homicide.
Then there is the fact that Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin, now that he is running for a second term, challenged as he is by Michael Khader, has commandeered the two overnight detectives to learn more about the armed robberies of businesses and a gas station in the east side of Yonkers near Yonkers Avenue and Alida Street and the greater community nearby that some say are core to McLauglin voters/supporters who reside in the general vicinity. Yonkers best allocate more P.O. to communities that require their presence
Thank you to all those who made the Yonkers Tribune aware of the situation and affording us the time to piece the intricacies of the complex issues that are intertwined after the demise of Richard “Ricky” Harley. May he rest in peace in recognizing he is remembered.
City of Yonkers Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Dean Politopoulos issued the following statement received by the Yonkers Tribune on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 1:30pm as follows:
On Richard Harley Death Investigation
On Monday, August 14th, 2017, at approximately 11:43 PM, members of the Yonkers Police Department responded to the vicinity of Herriot Street on a third party report of a male walking on Herriot Street toward Riverdale Avenue with a visible head injury. Officers canvassed the area and along with Empress EMS subsequently located the male inside his residence in an apartment on Jefferson Terrace. Upon making contact with the male, a 54 year old resident of Yonkers, officers observed that he had visible injuries to his person. The male related to officers that he was walking home when he was assaulted by three unknown suspects who did not take any property from him. Upon further inquiry, the male could not provide any further information; he also appeared highly intoxicated to the responding officers. Although uncooperative and attempting to refuse medical aid, the male was removed to a local area hospital to be treated for his injuries. Officers canvassed the area where the alleged assault took place but did not locate a crime scene or witnesses at the time.
Approximately 22 hours later, the male passed away at the same hospital facility. A death investigation was initiated. The male is identified as Richard Harley.
Detectives from the Major Case Unit and Crime Scene Unit canvassed Harley’s last known locations, interviewing subjects, reviewing surveillance video, and processing forensic evidence. Additionally, Harley’s body was removed by the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office for further examination.
In conjunction with autopsy results from the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office, preliminary investigation has yielded that Richard Harley expired from natural causes and not the result of the aforementioned visible injuries. Although Harley’s death does not appear to be the result of foul play, Detectives are still actively investigating to determine if Harley was involved in an altercation on the evening of 8/14.
The Yonkers Police Department often conducts death investigations that are apparently non-criminal in nature, and such instances are not reported to the media to afford privacy to the affected families. The Yonkers Police Department offers its sincere condolences to the Harley family.
TIP ME: Something going on readers should know about? Have a tip or a story idea? Email Yonkers Tribune Editor-at-Large Hezi Aris at eHezi@hush.com .