[Photo from 2007 by Bob Arihood]
On Sept. 14, Joel Pakela, aka neighborhood fixture LES Jewels, was found unconscious on Avenue A at East Ninth Street. He died a short time later at Beth Israel. Rumors quickly circulated that he died from a drug overdose. Later, though, there were claims that he had been kicked in the head during an assault.
Today, The Villager reports on the official cause of death, according to the medical examiner's office:
According to Julie Bolcer, an M.E. spokesperson, the finding of the autopsy and toxicology investigation was that Pakela’s cause of death was “blunt injuries of head.” However, she said, “The manner of death is undetermined.”
Asked for more details — such as how many and what kind of head injuries Pakela had, and whether he got them from being assaulted or, say, falling down on the sidewalk — Bolcer said she would check. However, she subsequently called back to say she had no further information. Asked if alcohol or drugs contributed in any way to his death, Bolcer simply repeated the M.E.’s conclusion, that the cause of death was “blunt injuries of head.”
Jewels was 43.
Previously on EV Grieve:
RIP LES Jewels (80 comments)
Memorials for LES Jewels in the East Village