[Hpn] HIGHWAY KILLER
William Charles Tinker
Thu, 11 Nov 2004 09:10:19 -0500
By MURRAY WEISS, JEREMY OLSHAN and PERRY CHIARAMONTE
November 11, 2004 -- A homeless man who was roused from his slumber by a
maintenance crew as he slept under a Queens highway overpass near Shea
Stadium pulled a gun and fatally shot one of the four stunned workers,
officials said yesterday.
Cops said the workers had briefly chatted over the past few days with
Stephen Boyd, 44, as they painted the bridge at Northern Boulevard and the
Grand Central Parkway.
The painters - employees of the Persico Painting Co. which is under contract
to the state Department of Transportation - even felt sorry for Boyd and
gave him a few dollars on Monday and Tuesday.
But yesterday, James Gaviglia, possibly with some of his fellow painters,
woke Boyd up and, without giving him money, asked him to move his belongings
so they could finish the job.
There were angry words exchanged before Boyd walked off and moved his
belongings to a grassy knoll more than 20 feet away.
But he returned with a .45-caliber revolver and fired at Gaviglia, 38, of
Middle Village, Queens, hitting him three times, police said.
Boyd then sat down on the grass near the highway, took out a cigar and began
smoking, authorities said.
Members of the 110th Precinct's Burglary Unit rushed to the scene after
They arrived within a few minutes - and found Boyd calmly smoking.
"I shot the guy," he volunteered to them, authorities said.
Gaviglia, the father of three children, was fatally wounded in the stomach.
He was pronounced dead at New York Hospital of Queens.
At the basement apartment in Glendale where Gaviglia lived alone, neighbors
said he had moved in a few months ago after breaking up with his wife.
"He's a nice man, a hardworking man who seemed like a good father," said
neighbor Janine Rapisardi, 41. "I feel terrible about this."
When cops examined Boyd's belongings they found about 30 rounds of
ammunition in his bag.
Boyd was charged with murder and weapons possession. It was not immediately
clear where he got the weapon.
Boyd had apparently been living for some time under the bridge, where he had
pitched a tarpaulin tent containing a rocking chair, several bottles of Colt
45 beer, and assorted bicycle parts.
Police said Boyd had been arrested once previously, on Halloween in 1999,
and charged with assault after hitting a woman and spitting at her outside
his home at the time in Brooklyn.
He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was conditionally released.
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