09-06-06

Hilton Ruiz RIP

Mr. Ruiz passed away after an accident in quite obscure conditions. The NYT obit is of course interesting enough as well as the following articles :

 

Ruiz family not certain fall caused death

By JANET MCCONNAUGHEY
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
Wednesday, June 7, 2006 · Last updated 3:54 p.m. PT
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/pop/1403AP_Pianist_Death.html

NEW ORLEANS -- The family of pianist-composer Hilton Ruiz is not convinced
that an accidental fall caused his death, their new New Orleans attorney
said Wednesday.

"Although it is the family's understanding that the New Orleans Police
Department has closed its file in this matter, the family confirms that they
continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding his injury and death,"
lawyer Scott M. Galante said.

Galante said he has not seen the evidence that police showed to Ruiz's
ex-wife and daughter, both named Aida, while Ruiz was still on life support.
Attorney Mary Howell, representing them at the time, said then that they had
accepted the conclusion reached by police.

Ruiz, 54, of Teaneck, N.J., had come to New Orleans on May 18 to shoot video
to go with a planned compact disc to benefit New Orleans, recorded only days
before he left the New York area. He was injured on Bourbon Street about
4:30 or 5 a.m. on May 19. Ruiz died on Tuesday.

Neither Galante nor Ruiz's ex-wife would comment on a New York Post report
about a video shown to the Ruizes by police. The newspaper quoted the elder
Aida Ruiz as saying it showed her ex-husband leaving a bar and hitting his
head on a curb, but that he was staggering badly, as if he had already been
injured.

Galante said he is representing the younger Aida Ruiz, and could not comment
about what anyone else said.

Capt. John Bryson, a police spokesman, asked any witnesses who haven't
talked to police to come forth. "We want to interview any and everybody," he
said.

Police originally investigated the case as an assault, but everything they
learned indicated that Ruiz fell accidentally, Bryson said.

A jam session benefit for Ruiz and his family Tuesday night raised about
$3,800, organizer Eddie Rodriguez said.

"Once they'd heard that he'd passed away, a lot of people didn't come to the
event because they thought it was canceled," he said.

---------------------------------------

JAZZMAN'S MYSTERY N.O. DEATH

By TODD VENEZIA and SANDRA GUZMAN
http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/69769.htm

June 7, 2006 -- Mystery surrounds the tragic death of a respected New York
jazz pianist, who passed away yesterday after being severely battered on
Bourbon Street in New Orleans last month while promoting a Hurricane Katrina
benefit album.

Authorities say Hilton Ruiz, 54, fell and injured himself at about 3:50 a.m.
May 19. But pals doubt his head wounds could be caused by just a fall.

"I think there were some circumstances that need to be investigated," said
friend Eddie Rodriguez.

The New York native was a jazz prodigy who performed with Tito Puente, Dizzy
Gillespie and Charles Mingus.

His wife, Aida, said cops showed her a video of Ruiz hitting his head on a
curb after leaving a bar. The way he staggered before falling made it appear
as if he had been injured before entering the video frame, she said.

11:27 Gepost door Lexman | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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