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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020
Tyrese Haspil (left) has been arrested and charged over the grisly murder of Fahim Saleh (right) in his Lower East Side apartment earlier this week

The personal assistant charged with murdering his wealthy tech entrepreneur boss was caught on surveillance video buying an electric saw and cleaning supplies just hours beforehand, prosecutors have revealed.

Tyrese Haspil, 21, was arrested and charged with second degree murder Friday over the grisly murder of Fahim Saleh , 33, in his Lower East Side apartment earlier this week.

Police say Saleh was beheaded and dismembered inside the $2.2 million residence on Monday afternoon, before his remains were found by a family member the following day.

An electric saw and cleaning supplies were discovered inside the apartment.

Prosecutors have not released the name of the store where Haspil was recorded buying the supplies. The personal assistant normally resides near Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

However, they allege the footage shows him making the transaction late Monday morning.

Investigators believe Saleh was killed around 1.45pm that afternoon.

Surveillance footage from Saleh's luxury apartment building - located at 265 East Houston St - shows him followed into a elevator by a man wearing a black suit and mask. It's believed that man was Haspil.

Saleh, who was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, reportedly appeared suspicious when the masked-man fumbled with the elevator, which requires the use of a key fob to operate.

The footage shows the victim collapsing to the ground as the elevator doors opened directly into Saleh's full-floor apartment. The doors then closed and obscured the camera's view of what happened next.

Autopsy results released on Thursday revealed that Saleh was tasered and then stabbed multiple times before being dismembered.

Investigators believe Haspil returned to Saleh's apartment on Tuesday to dismember the tech entrepreneur's body after first stabbing him on Monday afternoon.

Law enforcement officials say the alleged killer may have been waiting for the victim's blood to coagulate before dismembering him.

When police arrived at the scene, Saleh's torso was found in the corner of his living room and his head, arms, and legs had been separated into plastic bags.

An electric saw that was still plugged in, a vacuum cleaner and cleaning products were found nearby.

Police declined to specify the cause of death, saying the investigation was ongoing.

They have also refused to reveal why only second-degree murder charges have been brought against Haspil, despite the grisly nature of the crime and their assertion that he was caught buying supplies beforehand.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said Haspil, who handled Saleh's finances as his personal assistant, owed the victim a 'significant amount' of money before his murder, and there are reports that Haspil may have been embezzling from his employer.

Police sources told the Daily News that Saleh discovered his assistant had allegedly stolen $100,000 from him, and that he set up a payment plan for Haspil to repay the money instead of reporting him to authorities.

Detectives started investigating Haspil after finding text messages in which Saleh accused Haspil of stealing the money, according to police sources.

Prior to his arrest, Haspil was reportedly residing at a luxury condo not far from the victim's apartment.

Haspil appears to have been hiding out in an apartment on Crosby Street in the NoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, less than a mile from the murder scene.

New surveillance video obtained exclusively by shows Haspil on Wednesday around 12.30pm leaving the Crosby Street building where he was later arrested.

Haspil is seen walking out of the Crosby Street building in the company of an unidentified woman and strolling casually down the street. There is no indication that the woman had knowledge of the murder, and the NYPD declined to offer further information when asked if the woman was being sought for questioning.

A property manager in a neighboring building told that he believed Haspil had taken up residence at 172 Crosby Street as recently as this week, possibly through a short-term vacation rental service.

On Friday morning, detectives led Haspil away in handcuffs after his arrest in the NoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.

Hours later, Haspil was also caught on camera being escorted out of the 7th Precinct wearing a surgical mask and Tyvek coveralls for transport to central booking.

Haspil, who is from Elmont, New York, had worked for Saleh at his investment firm Adventure Capital.

It appears he attended Hofstra University where he studied arts and marketing. It is not yet clear how he came to work for Saleh.

Saleh was the chief executive officer of a ride-hailing motorcycle startup called Gokada that began operating in Nigeria in 2018.

The firm, Gokada, recently faced severe setbacks after being banned earlier this year by the Nigerian government. It was forced to lay off staff and pivot from being a ride-sharing service to a delivery courier.

The ban came at a difficult moment for Gokada which had just raised $5.3 million in funding from Rise Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, in May 2019.

After the ban was enacted, the firm stopped bringing in money and around 800 bikers working for Gorkada were also immediately laid off.

Saleh was working on new ideas and a new direction for the firm.

At the time of his death, Saleh was also being sued by a former prison guard turned criminal who was jailed for using his app PrankDial, which he founded in 2015, to secretly record and listen to employees' phone calls.

The app let Kirk Eady, the former deputy director of Hudson County Correctional Facility, place a call between two employees without them knowing he was behind it, then listen to whatever they said.

He listened to their complaints about him and about their jobs then retaliated against them in the workplace, according to prosecutors.

He was jailed for 15 months and in 2017 and sued Saleh for fraud, claiming the app made him think what he was doing was legal.


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