Christmas Eve Beating Ruled a Homicide
Andres Ruiz-Avelizapa died in January after assault in December in downtown Easton.
Northampton County's coroner has ruled the death of a man beaten unconcious in Easton on Christmas Eve a homicide, according to published reports.
Andres Ruiz-Avelizapa, 52, died in January following the attack on the 400 block of Northampton Street. On Friday, Coroner Zachary Lysek ruled the death a homicide, the Morning Call reports.
Lysek's ruling makes Ruiz-Avelizapa's death the sixth recorded homicide in Easton for 2012. It's the most the city has seen since at least 1970.
Antonio Ortiz, 33, of 462 Northampton St., is accused of assaulting Ruiz-Avelizapa. He has been charged with aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person, but hasn't yet been charged with criminal homicide.
According to court records:
Police responded to the 400 block of Northampton Street just before 1 a.m. after getting a report that one man had knocked another man unconscious.
They found a man -- late identified as Ruiz-Avelizapa -- on the ground, bleeding from his head. He was taken to Easton Hospital, where doctors determined he had sustained serious injuries.
A witness, Jesse Atkinson told police he had seen an argument between Ortiz and a woman, and saw Ruiz-Avelizapa come in contact with them.
Ortiz swung two punches at Ruiz-Avelizapa, who fell to the ground, the witness said. He said he saw Ortiz go to Ruiz-Avelizapa and "manipulate" his clothing.
The woman, identified as Samantha Vega, told police Ortiz knocked Ruiz-Avelizapa to the ground.
Police say Ortiz initially said he had no contact with Ruiz-Avelizapa, but later told investigators Ruiz-Avelizapa had pushed him, and that Ortiz had pushed back.