WNY resident beaten to death during robbery
As of press time, a 16-year-old youth was being sought in the beating death of Abraham Rivera, 29, of West New York. Rivera was positively identified by family members this week after he was found unconscious, without identification and his pockets turned inside out, in the early hours of June 6 in front of 424 61st St. in West New York.
He died within hours of being brought to the hospital, leading investigators on a chase to find the suspect.
Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio ruled the death a homicide on Monday afternoon. “He sustained blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and face,” said DeFazio.
DeFazio originally said investigators believed the victim was struck numerous times by a blunt object, but later modified that belief, based on evidence, to conclude that Rivera was allegedly stomped on.
Rivera worked at Mi Bandera on 32nd Street in Union City. It is believed that he was walking home from his Saturday night shift when he was attacked.
DeFazio said that it is possible more than one teen or young adult was involved in the attack.
Anyone with information about the incident should call Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Squad at (201) 915-1345.
Five-alarm fire displaces six families in UC, including Commissioner Irizarry’s
Three residential buildings were damaged in a fire in Union City on Tuesday afternoon that originated at 1911 Palisade Ave. The five-alarm fire drew companies from neighboring towns to battle the blaze, which began shortly before 4 p.m. and was brought under control around 5 p.m.
North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Co-Director Jeff Welz said that the fire began outdoors in the rear of 1911 Palisade Ave. and ran up the building and onto the roof, where it spread to two neighboring buildings (1909 and 1913 Palisade Ave.), one of which is home to Union City Commissioner Christopher Irizarry.
Six families, including that of Irizarry, were displaced by the fire.
Welz said that everyone was able to get out safely, even one pit bull that was rescued from the basement.
Although there were no civilian injuries, a few firefighters had to be treated for heat related issues. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Union City Spokesman Mark Albiez said that the city would be assisting the displaced families by getting them into hotels and helping them with relocation. The Union City Fire Victims Fund is also in place for anyone who wishes to assist the victims of the fire. Contact (201) 348-5755 for more information or to donate.
WNY actress makes national news with birth control pill lawsuit
Brenda Hamilton, 30, a Broadway actress who currently lives in West New York, is making national news after filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a birth control pill.
Hamilton, an understudy in the Broadway show “Wicked,” was featured in print and televised reports this week about her lawsuit against Bayer.
She is claiming that its birth control pill Yasmin caused her to have a stroke when she was 27 years old and that Bayer knew the birth-control pill posed a greater risk of stroke and blood clots than other birth control pills, but didn’t warn consumers.
Bayer did not release comments on any pending lawsuits against them by press time.
Second suspect in fatal UC stabbing outside club surrenders
Daniel Balbuena, the second suspect being sought in the Memorial Day stabbing of a man at a Union City after-hours club, surrendered in the late evening on June 3 and appeared in court the following day.
Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said that Balbuena, 18, of West New York, was with a family member when he turned himself in after a warrant for his arrest had been issued earlier in the week for his alleged participation in the stabbing at Studio 45 Nite Club.
A fight outside the Bergenline Avenue establishment escalated to a stabbing that claimed the life of Union City resident Ivan Restrepo, 23 and left his brother, Alejandro Restrepo, 19, also of Union City, in critical condition.
Studio 45 was shut down by Union City officials the day after the deadly stabbing amid allegations that the club had been serving alcohol years after its permit was revoked.
DeFazio said earlier that the first suspect, Juan Ventura Balbuena, 19, of West New York, was held by a third party and arrested on the spot. But his cousin Daniel Balbuena allegedly fled the scene.
Both are now in Hudson County Correctional Center facing charges of murder, aggravated assault, and weapons offenses.
UC mayor announces mobile office hours for June
Mayor Brian Stack has announced the dates during the month of June when he will be available in his Mobile Mayor’s Office.
Dates, times and locations are as follows: June 11 from 2 - 7 p.m. on 36th Street, between Hudson and Park avenues; June 18 from 2 - 7 p.m. on 15th Street, between West Street and Park Avenue; June 23 from 2 - 6:30 p.m. on 27th Street, between Bergenline and Central avenues.
Constituents are encouraged to attend with their concerns and will have the individual attention of the mayor.