April 23, 2008
Seamy underbelly of Hell's Kitchen returns to obscurity
The two long-time Hell's Kitchen residents who wheeled their dead friend to a 9th Avenue Pay-O-Matic [above] in January and tried to cash his social security check were cleared of forgery and larceny charges yesterday. There was no proof that the dead guy, Virgilio Cintron, was actually dead at the time they brought him out of the apartment, so the case was thrown out.
And so, after a brief moment in the spotlight, this reminder of what the neighborhood (and a lot of the city) was like decades ago recedes to the background. The neighborhood is increasingly made up of $15/glass wine bars and posh baby-clothes stores, but those exist right next door to the check cashing places that serve the surprisingly resilient non-yuppie segment of the Hell's Kitchen population.
During their period of fame, the two defendants, James O’Hare and David Daloia, shared a lot about their lives with the press. Back at the apartment yesterday, O'Hare said that at the time of Cintron's death, his landlord was trying to evict him. "Maybe I feel like I should have done more," he said. "I could have done more to help him with the medication. I loved the guy. I miss him."
Daloia said, "If the medical examiner couldn’t tell his time of death, and they are the professionals, then how could we?," which doesn't make much sense, considering that they were actually there with the body, tried (unsuccessfully) to pull some pants up onto him, and carried him downstairs onto the street where a crowd immediately noticed that the man in the computer chair was dead.
Daloia and O'Hare have also expressed their surprise at all the media attention. From the Daily News: "Daloia said he was still amazed by all the attention generated by their arrests. 'I thought Britney Spears took her pants down again,' he said outside court."
From Newsday: "Daloia can't understand all the fuss. 'I robbed banks that got less coverage than this.'"
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