Saturday, September 14, 2013
[Photo from 2011 by Bob Arihood]
Word is circulating in Tompkins Square Park today that LES Jewels, a familiar figure in the neighborhood, has died. Park regulars said that Jewels, aka Joel Pakela, died as a result of a drug overdose. [Update 9-16: A cause of death has not been confirmed. There are other theories, as you can see in the comments.] Friends said that he was 43.
According to sources, Jewels was found unconscious this morning at 7:44 on Avenue A at East Ninth Street. An EMS crew tried unsuccessfully to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His drug- and alcohol-fueled rampages along Avenue A and in Tompkins Square Park were well-documented by Bob Arihood at Neither More Nor Less.
One longtime resident recently introduced himself to Jewels ... and wasn't sure what to expect.
"He couldn't have been nicer."
Here's the last photo that we've seen of Jewels, taken Sept. 8 at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) on Avenue C...
[Photo via MoRUS]