New York City, d. 19.August.2017, head
Police Probe Death of Bike Messenger After Williamsburg Art Gallery
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
“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.