Warrant says suspect in Richard Lewis murder confessed to assault

The man charged with the death of Richard Lewis last October admitted to punching and kicking the victim, according to newly released documents.

Victor Purdie, 56, who is charged with second-degree murder, identified himself in surveillance footage police used to identify the assailant in a fight outside Union Station. 

At around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, police responded to a call for aggravated assault. There, police found Lewis unconscious on the sidewalk in front of Union Station with severe head trauma. Lewis succumbed to his injuries and died Jan. 6. According to a coroner’s report, Lewis died from blunt head trauma.

Purdie was charged with Lewis’ murder on Jan. 23.

According to charging documents, Purdie and Lewis were allegedly seen in surveillance footage in Union Station on the morning of the incident. In the footage, Purdie can be seen walking up to Lewis on the sidewalk and pushing a picture directly in Lewis’ face. When Lewis keeps walking Purdie jerks Lewis’ head and body in the direction of the picture, which the police investigation reveals was a picture of the gravesite where Purdie’s mother is buried.

According to the document, Purdie and Lewis separate and are no longer visible in the footage. Moments later Purdie is seen running toward where the assault is alleged to have occurred.

A witness who was present at the station during the time of the attack and who also appears in the surveillance footage, said they saw two black males, one on the ground another punching the male on the ground. A car horn went off and the male stopped punching and kicked the male on the ground once more before fleeing. The witness added that the man on the ground did not fight back throughout the assault.

The witness was unable to identify the men featured in the video, though they did note that the man who inflicted the punches was a regular in the Union Station station area and they had seen him previously receiving treatment at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Another witness, who came forward after police released a person of interest video featuring the two males on the sidewalk near Union Station, was able to identify one of the men as Purdie.

When police called Purdie in for questioning, Purdie identified himself as the other male in the video and confessed that he assaulted Lewis. Purdie told police he showed Lewis the picture of his mother’s grave, Lewis allegedly spit on Purdie’s face and cursed at him. Purdie reacted by punching and kicking Lewis. Purdie said Lewis, “bothers people.”

This wasn’t Purdie and Lewis’ first interaction. According to Purdie, they had problems in the past and Lewis got into a fighting stance though they never fought.

Purdie is currently being held without bail and is expected in court Feb. 2.

 

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