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Queens Chronicle

Homeless man killed park-goer, Brown says

Forai charged in Flushing man’s death

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Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015 10:30 am

The suspect wanted for allegedly bludgeoning a man to death in Forest Park has been arrested and charged with murder, according to cops.

Zoltan Forai, 44 and also known as Steven Forai, was arrested last Friday, cops said, in connection with the murder of Flushing resident Diego Piedrahita.

Forai faces charges of second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement on Monday.

Forai was caught on June 19, according to Brown, while allegedly drinking a can of beer in the park less than a mile away from the crime scene.

When cops, who had arrested Forai for drinking the beer in public, noticed he had allegedly shaved off his beard in an attempt to differentiate himself from the picture of him on wanted posters, he was rearrested on the murder charges.

He faces the possibility of life in prison, or 25 years, if convicted of all the charges, Brown said.

According to Brown, Forai allegedly “kicked and bashed in [Piedrahita’s] head with a rock.”

“The defendant is accused of violently beating to death a 23-year-old man in Forest Park earlier this month,” the district attorney said in a written statement announcing the charges. “The victim was brutally kicked and bashed in the head with a rock. The defendant has shown a total disregard for life and if convicted should be locked behind bars to keep the public safe and to punish him for this senseless crime.”

Piedrahita was found dead around 3:30 p.m. on June 10 with head trauma and skull fractures, according to Brown, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Cops said Forai, a homeless man, frequented Forest Park’s BandShell area and Victory Field, where Piedrahita was found dead.

Forai, who is being held without bail, is due back in court to face the charges on July 2, according to Brown.

— Anthony O’Reilly

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