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Man charged in deadly Bronx bodega fight free on bail

Anthony Johnson has details from the Claremont section.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
A man accused of throwing a punch that ended a tourist's life has been released on bail after being charged with harassment and assault.

Bail for Brownie Lopez, 19, who appeared in a Bronx courtroom Monday, was set at $5,000 cash or $2,500 bond.

Lopez turned himself in to police at the 48th Precinct recently, wiping tears from his eyes as he was escorted in by officers.

In a surveillance video released last week, police said Lopez is seen standing inside the Guerrero Bodega on Washington Avenue, before throwing a punch that led to the death of 37-year-old Oliver D'Orio, an Italian native who resides in Switzerland.

The video shows D'Orio, who has been described as being intoxicated, apparently arguing with Lopez and friends May 23 inside the store. At some point, D'Orio, who was visiting his girlfriend in the Bronx, removed his shirt and continued the verbal assault outside.

Lopez seemed calm, and then threw a round-house punch that caught D'Orio on the left side of the head. D'Orio fell and hit his head on the pavement. He died a short time later at Saint Barnabas Hospital.

According to a criminal complaint released Monday, Lopez told police: "He called me an immigrant and asked me for drugs. I gave him a punch because he had something in his hands. I was scared and felt pressured and I hit him."

Friends of Lopez gathered outside the precinct after he surrendered. They were overheard saying that Lopez regrets that his action to defend his friends led to death.
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