2012-09-12 / Front Page

Queens Gas Station Death Ruled A Homicide

By LIZ GOFF

The drunken Flushing man who went berserk on September 6 and lashed out at a gas station attendant in Long Island City died from forcible neck compression, a spokesperson for the city Medical Examiner’s office said.


The medical examiner officially ruled the death of Oscar Arzeno, 28, as a homicide, the spokesperson said.


No charges have been filed against Jesse Singh, 27, a gas station attendant at a Gulf station on Van Dam Street in Long Island City, police officials said.


Singh was working at the station at 5 p.m. on September 6 when Arzeno flipped out and started acting violently after he was unable to withdraw cash from an ATM machine at the gas station.


Video surveillance shows Arzeno turning his rage on Singh, sucker punching him in the eye in the midst of a heated argument.


Singh, who said he boxes and idolizes Rocky Balboa, didn’t back down after Arzeno attacked him, law enforcement sources said.


“The video shows Singh throwing a combination of punches,” the sources said. “And then he delivered a roundhouse kick to the head. Then the fight spills into the street and Singh knocks the guy to the ground, and gets him in a chokehold.”


Arzeno was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Singh was taken into custody and grilled by cops for a full day after the incident. He was released from custody as detectives continue their investigation to determine if Singh’s actions were criminal.


Gas station owner Jervail Singh told police his nephew fought back when Arzeno attacked him, and initially insisted that Arzeno died of a heart attack, law enforcement sources said.
Eyewitnesses told police Arzeno, who “was stumbling like he was drunk”, became enraged when he couldn’t get cash out of the ATM machine, law enforcement sources said.


“He went into the gas station office and started arguing with the attendants,” the sources said. “Then there were words between Singh and Arzeno that broke out into the fatal confrontation.


Cops said Arzeno was no stranger to the law. He claimed police brutality after a 2006 arrest by Queens cops and was recently awarded $250,000 in that case.


Surveillance video shows undercover cops arresting Arzeno outside a Flushing apartment building in 2006, with five officers knocking him to the sidewalk, cuffing him and then walking him to a police car, court records state.


A spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Arzeno was subdued after he tried to run away from cops who were arresting him for selling coke to an undercover officer on school grounds.


Arzeno later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession charges and received three years probation.

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