‘Tell It to my Face': Document Reveals Details in Deadly South Philly Park Dispute

What to Know

  • Matthew Oropeza is facing involuntary manslaughter charges in the fight that left Drew Justice dead.
  • Justice began arguing with another man after telling him to put his dog on a leash at Gold Star Park in South Philly, witnesses said.
  • Witnesses told NBC10 they don’t believe the attacker meant to kill Justice.

A police affidavit has shed more light on what led up to the death of a man walking his dog. reports the document details the dispute between Matthew Oropeza and Drew Justice on Jan. 5 at Gold Star Park in South Philadelphia.

Oropeza is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes for allegedly punching Justice and knocking him down after Justice told Oropeza not to let his dog run unleashed at a neighborhood park.

Oropeza allegedly told Justice, who was walking his dog with his girlfriend, to "tell it to my face." The document says Justice raised his hands but Oropeza punched him first with his left hand, causing him to fall and hit his head.

"I heard the screaming," Justice's neighbor Julie Abruzzese told NBC10. "But it was already done. He was laying on the ground."

Residents told NBC10 there's been recent tension at the popular park due to a mix of dogs and children.

"They're going to tell you their dog's friendly," Abruzzese said. "You don't know at that moment if a dog's going to turn. I've always said that one day they're going to bite these children. But here it turned out somebody got killed over a leash."

Online court records don't list an attorney who could comment on Oropeza's behalf. Oropeza is currently free on bail.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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