20 Aug 2014
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Christmas Eve Beating Victim Dies

Police, coroner, DA investigating fight between two men on Northampton Street in Easton.

Christmas Eve Beating Victim Dies

A man who was beaten unconscious in downtown Easton on Christmas Eve has died of his injuries, city police said.

Andres Ruiz-Avelizapa never regained consciousness and died Monday afternoon, according to police Lt. Matthew Gerould. 

Ruiz-Avelizapa had been hospitalized since the early morning hours of Dec. 24, when he was allegedly assaulted by Antonio Ortiz on the 400 block of Northampton Street. 

Ortiz, 33, of 462 Northampton St., had been charged with aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. 

Police are working with the Northampton County District Attorney and Coroner to determine what the next step is.

"We're still investigating, and part of that is autopsy," Gerould said. 

If prosecutors decide to file homicide charges against Ortiz, it will make Ruiz-Avelizapa's death the sixth homicide of 2012.

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 -- later 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.

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