From the NY Daily News, June 4:
‘Love’ then death in Harlem hit-run
Coward kills 30-year-old helping date out of cab
A 30-year-old law student exchanged kisses with a woman in the back of a cab, helped her from the vehicle and then was killed yesterday when a hit-and-run coward mowed him down, police and a witness said.
Kris Bellamkonda, who was trying to stop traffic so his friend could cross the street on her crutches, was struck about 4:20 a.m. Minutes before the accident at W. 122nd St. and Lenox Ave., the Cardozo School of Law student and the woman were sharing carefree plans of romance.
“They were talking to each other and laughing,” said taxi driver Ahmed Naseer, 54, who dropped them off near the woman’s apartment. “He was saying, ‘I love you’ to her.”
Naseer picked up the pair at W. 22nd St. and Sixth Ave. in Chelsea about 3:50 a.m. He said they initially told him there would be two stops. But after a few embraces and intimate talk, they agreed to the one Harlem stop.
Bellamkonda opened the door for the woman, who an acquaintance said was on crutches after surgery, and told her to wait on the sidewalk. Then, according to a police source, he stepped out into traffic and put his hand out in an effort to stop oncoming cars.
“He thought it would take her a while to get across the street,” the police source said.
The woman watched in horror as a gray sport-utility vehicle hit Bellamkonda.
Sham Haricharan, 36, had just stepped out of a nearby store and saw the crash.
“He flew in the air and landed on the SUV,” Haricharan said. “It carried him half a block.”
Bellamkonda fell to the ground and the driver sped off.
“Oh, my God!” his companion shrieked, Haricharan said. “Oh, my God!”
Bellamkonda was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital about 4:45 a.m.
“He loved the city,” said his brother-in-law Derek Hill, 34. “He loved the adventure. He loved the diversity.”
Bellamkonda, of Indian and Italian heritage, had a physics degree from NYU and was a second-year student at Cardozo, which is part of Yeshiva University. He owned at least two properties in upper Manhattan, including a brownstone he was living in and renovating on W. 131st St.
“If anybody knows anything, they should come forward,” Hill said. “He cut short the life of a wonderful person and destroyed the lives of others.”
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