An Orthodox Jewish man was murdered over a fight for a mere $200 in his own house in the Kew Gardens Hills section of Queens, officials said Monday.
On Feb. 14 around 8 a.m. detectives recovered the body of 56-year-old Kevin Lopwan, laying face up at the bottom of the stairs near the entrance to the basement. A piece of plastic roof from a shed was on top of his body and there were injuries and bruises to his head, according to investigators.
NYPD said they responded to 141-27 77th Avenue after receiving a 911 call that a man was found unresponsive inside the house.
The responding officers from the 1007 precinct observed Rahmatullah Popal, 22, walking away from Mr. Lopwan’s house with his wallet, credit card and a check.
Police questioned Mr. Popal and subsequently placed him under arrest.
After further investigation, Mr. Popal admitted that he went to Mr. Lopwan’s home to collect $200 he owed, but Mr. Lopwan sent him away with a blank check instead.
The infuriated Mr. Popal reentered the residence from the basement, but was discovered by Mr. Lopwan who begun to scream “Robber!”
Mr. Popal kicked the older gentlemen in the stomach and Mr. Lopwan fired back with a punch to the face. Mr. Popal then picked up a piece of the shed and pushed Mr. Lopwan into the door, knocking his head, and then pushed him down the stairs, according to detectives.
Mr. Popal trailed behind his victim and held him down with the piece of shed until he ceased movement.
On Friday, Feb. 28 the medical examiner ruled Mr. Lopwan’s death a homicide.
Mr. Popal has 6 prior arrests with the NYPD. and has now been charged with Robbery, Burglary, and Criminal Possession of stolen property.
His next court date is set for March 6 and it is expected his charges will be upgraded to murder, law enforcement sources said. Mr. Popal is being held in Rikers Island jail on a $100,000.00 bail.
Chesed Shel Emes was working with the medical examiner and family the entire time to insure the maximum Koved hames and proper jewish burial.