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Merrick Blvd. brawl turns deadly for man

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Investigators were searching for a suspect who they say got into an altercation with another man at the eatery located at 131-10 Merrick Blvd. around 3 p.m. and fled the scene after the victim went into cardiac arrest and collapsed, according to police. The victim, whose identity the police had not released by presstime, was rushed to Mary Immaculate Hospital where he was later pronounced dead."I didn't hear or see the fight, but after it happened the cops and news crews were all over here and talking with people inside the Dunkin' Donuts," said Dennis Kourkoumelis, who owns a manufacturing supply company opposite the restaurant.Police had not made any arrests and the investigation was ongoing as of Tuesday evening. A police spokeswoman said it was not known if the fight was provoked by the bumping or a previous incident between the men.Although the employees of the donut shop said the incident happened in their store, the manager denied that the altercation took place at all and refused to comment. Regular patrons like Michael Brown, 48 of Springfield Gardens, were surprised that someone could be killed over a random dispute."Yeah, it's shocking, but at the same time things like this happen. Men always have small frictions with themselves and it can lead to things like this," Brown said.Kourkoumelis agreed, noting that most of Merrick Boulevard is quiet since it is primarily lined with shops and restaurants."I really haven't seen anyone fight here because it's a commercial area. Down the block towards the residential side you hear more of that stuff happening," he said.Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the suspect is urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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