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Man Pleads Not Guilty In West Hempstead Beating Death

Defendant had priors for robbery, DWI in 2001 and 2009

A West Hempstead man beat an acquaintance to death outside a shopping center last Friday, Aug. 3, police stated at a press briefing. Bruny E. Fenelon, 30, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder at his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead. He was held without bail.

According to authorities, Fenelon and Michael Rambaran, 39, were standing near the east side loading dock of National Wholesale Liquidators on Hempstead Turnpike on Thursday, Aug. 2. Inspector Kenneth Lack stated the two began arguing and a fight ensued. It is unknown what the tussle was over and Lack said police do not know who threw the first punch.

No weapon was used in the assault, according to police. Rambaran is from Guyana, Lack said, and authorities were trying to notify his family Friday. Police note that Fenelon has prior arrests for second-degree robbery and probation violations in 2001 and driving while intoxicated in 2009.

“The argument escalated into a physical altercation and when the victim fell to the ground, the defendant began to viciously punch, kick and stomp him in the face, neck and head, causing his death,” Lack told reporters. Rambaran was pronounced dead at the scene.

There were witnesses, but no one intervened, police stated. A passerby who saw the fight called 911, and police showed up shortly after 9 p.m. Lack said the fight did not appear to be gang related, but that the two knew each other by “street name.”

“They were in the vicinity of the loading docks, drinking and hanging out,” Lack noted. “We still do not know what the altercation was about.”

After the assault, police said Fenelon fled on foot and was later arrested at his home. Fenelon was previously convicted of stealing a bicycle after pushing the rider off the bike in 2001, and according to Lack, Fenelon punched and kicked the victim to steal it. Lack was unsure if Rambaran had any prior arrests and would not provide a description.

“I’m not sure who started the physical altercation,” Lack said.