Guilty plea for man charged in deadly Philadelphia dog park confrontation

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Matthew Oropeza

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man charged in a deadly confrontation last year at a Philadelphia dog park has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Monday.

The incident happened around 9:15 p.m. on January 5, 2019, at the Gold Star Park off South Sheridan Street.

Authorities say after 38-year-old Drew Justice asked 25-year-old Matthew Oropeza to leash his two dogs at the park. A fight ensued and Oropeza punched Justice, causing him to fall, police said. He ultimately died from his injuries at the hospital.

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Oropeza pleaded guilty on Monday.

"I want to thank Assistant District Attorney Danielle Burkavage for securing justice in this matter today. It is never acceptable to inflict violence, much less violence against a neighbor in a neighborly setting," District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

Oropeza will be sentenced by Judge Glenn Bronson on May 28, 2020.