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“On Thursday April 21, 2022, at approximately 0348 hours, police responded to a 911 call of an unconscious male in the vicinity of Ludlow Street and Stanton Street, within the confines of the 7 Precinct. Upon arrival, responding officers encountered an unidentified adult male, unconscious and unresponsive, with no obvious signs of trauma observed. EMS also responded to the scene and pronounced the aided male deceased at the scene.” That’s the statement we receive every time we ask the NYPD about the death of 25-year-old Julio Ramirez.

Julio Ramirez who died three months ago today.

Three months ago today, Julio left the Ritz Bar and Lounge on Restaurant Row after a night out in Hell’s Kitchen (he had been to Rise Bar and Mickey Spillane’s before that). We have been told consistently that there is a video showing three men getting into a cab with Julio. When Julio was found dead downtown he had no wallet, no phone and no form of identification. His body was at the hospital’s morgue as a “John Doe” — he had been robbed.

Every time we have asked NYPD for an update on the investigation since we first ran the story in mid-May we have received the same response — “the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation remains ongoing.” Julio’s family and friends have been repeatedly told that they will soon have the results of a second toxicology report. They have not had any updates.

Justice for Julio Candlelit Vigil and walk to Times Square in June. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Yesterday evening, I wrote as Publisher of W42ST to our two elected officials who attended the Justice for Julio Candlelit Vigil and walk to Times Square in June — Senator Brad Hoylman and Council Member Erik Bottcher. I asked for the following:

  1. Julio’s final night out included visits to Rise Bar, Mickey Spillane’s and Ritz Bar. He was last seen alive getting into a cab outside Ritz. A video shows three men getting into the same car. We have cc’d the bar owners on this letter and would ask you to collaborate with them to review any video they have of Julio’s movements that evening.
  2. The family has been promised “a second toxicology report”. After 3 months, there is no indication that a cause of death has been determined. We ask that you find out what is happening in this part of the investigation.
  3. That you aim to report back to the Hell’s Kitchen and LGBTQIA+ community what is happening to find the three men who left a local bar with Julio, why this video has not been released via NYPD Crime Stoppers and what is the Medical Examiner’s determination of the cause of Julio’s death.

Also, today we appeal to readers to follow up with Erik Bottcher and Brad Hoylman to express your feelings. The family of Julio deserves answers — and we need to know that our neighborhood is safe.


UPDATE at 10:40am 7/21/22. Statement by City Council Member Erik Bottcher and State Senator Brad Hoylman: “Our offices are in frequent contact with the NYPD to demand justice for Julio and updates on the investigation. While the NYPD says it continues to actively investigate this case, Julio’s family, friends and our community have lost patience with the lack of progress. We’re pressing the NYPD for updates and information that can be shared publicly.”

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10 Comments

  1. Councilman Bottcher: Please rank this as the highest priority. It reminds us of the Kitty Genovese matter (1964).

  2. This is the responsibility of The Ritz, and all the other bars in the area to prevent this. Why haven’t they come out and not only provided a quote, but have demonstrated action on their part so that this doesn’t happen again? It’s only a matter of time until a tragedy like this happens — hold those establishments accountable too!

  3. This whole infuriates me. Why has the video of suspects not been released? How does he leave in a cab with 3 people but is then found dead alone in the cab? Why are no details being released?

    1. Sounds really fishy, doesn’t it? Also, that the owner of The Ritz took so long to come out is suspicious.

  4. W42ST is such a strong advocate for our neighborhood. Thank you Phil for using your influence to help keep us safe and find some answers for a heartbroken family and Julio’s friends.

  5. We’re the cameras working where they got into the cab..does anyone even know if it was a yellow an Uber what?. Was EVERY single person he interacted with in EVERY bar interviewed? There is definitely something amiss here…something is not right…who were these guys..there’s no plate# where did they go…how much was shared with family with community? oh no,somethings wrong with is investigation…is it still “hot” did they back burner it? U all deserve answers

    1. Drug dealers operate out of the gay bars. The police know, they get paid off and are complicit so I really don’t expect there to be too much of an investigation.

  6. This has been happening in gay bars for years. To stay solvent a lot of gay bars began catering to the drug crowd, no one pays attention when gay men dose each other. A lot of gay men don’t even bother with the bars at all now due to this but the younger gay men don’t know any better so they still go to them. The bars could easily stop this but they choose not to. Gay bars only have three types of men now, predators, victims, and enablers.

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