Man dies after being punched in South Philadelphia park

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are investigating after a 38-year-old man died after being punched in a South Philadelphia park Saturday night.

The victim's fiancee witnessed the crime.

The incident occurred just after 10 p.m. Saturday in Gold Star Park.

"I was having dinner with my family and I heard hysterical screaming in the park," says Matt Murray.

When Matt went outside, he found one of his closest neighbors badly injured and in desperate need of help.

He was fatally wounded in the park last night while walking his dog with his fiancee.

According to Murray, who spoke to several witnesses to the crime, it all started because his neighbor asked another man at the park to put his dog on a leash.

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Man dies after being punched in South Philadelphia park. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at noon on January 6, 2019.

"There was another person from the neighborhood that had their dog off their leash and the dog was running in this area which is not permitted for dogs," says Murray.

But the suspect didn't like that.

"They asked the person to leash their dog, by the law it has to be on a leash in the park, and at that point, the person got mad and ended up striking my neighbor in the face," Murray says.

Police say after the victim was punched in the face he fell to the ground and hit his head.

Neighbors and medics tried to save him.

"My other neighbor on Marshal was doing chest compressions on the neighbor on the ground," says Murray.

But he was pronounced dead at Jefferson Hospital shortly after arrival.

Though the suspect fled, police are confident with surveillance video and witnesses they're going to find out who did this soon.

"People who live in the area that frequent the park may recognize the offender who is apparently someone who frequents the park with their dogs," says police.

If you have any information, you are asked to call police.

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