Curtis Valentine
New York City, d. 19.August.2017, head injury.


Police Probe Death of Bike Messenger After Williamsburg Art Gallery Event

By  Gwynne Hogan and Ben Fractenberg | August 24, 2017

WILLIAMSBURG — Detectives are investigating the death of a bike messenger who died after suffering a head injury at a Bushwick Avenue art gallery.

Bushwick resident Curtis Valentine, 32, a skateboarder and Virginia native, died after sustaining the injury Saturday night outside of the Head Too Heavy Gallery at 383 Bushwick Ave., though the circumstances are still unclear, said 83rd Precinct Detective John Bartek. Valentine's roommate called 911 at 9 p.m. Saturday night after finding him unconscious on the ground of their apartment following the gallery event, according to police. Initial reports deemed his death unsuspicious with no obvious injuries. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which didn't immediately return a request for comment Thursday, will determine his cause of death.

Police are now hoping attendees of the Saturday night opening, a tribute for two artists who'd died of drug overdoses, will come forward with eyewitness accounts or cellphone videos if something occurred, Bartek said. They're hoping to determine if a fight broke out and Valentine was attacked, or if he slipped and fell, the detective explained.On Thursday afternoon, officers from the 83rd Precinct were spotted canvassing Troutman Street near Valentine's apartment for video surveillance from Saturday night. Friends took to social media asking for witnesses to come forward with information on Valentine's death.

"They need to come forward. Someone’s life was lost,” said Jennifer Manfredi, 31, a friend of Valentine’s since the two met 15 years ago in Tampa, Florida, where they both spent much of their teenage years. She Valentine as the positive and giving, “life of the party.”

“They need to speak up about it so his family and friends can get peace," said Manfredi. "He didn't deserve to go out like this."

On Sunday, the Head Too Heavy Gallery posted pictures of Saturday's event, calling it a "great crowd and positive energy all around." The gallery, which posted about Curtis' death on Wednesday, didn't immediately return a request for comment. A memorial service for Valentine is planned for Sunday afternoon at the SuperChief Gallery, 1628 Jefferson Ave. in Bushwick.


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