NEW YORK, NEW YORK – There was another killing at a New York City gas station on Thursday, but this time the victim was a drunk who made the mistake of tangling with an attendant who boxes and idolizes Rocky Balboa.
Oscar Arzeno flipped out after he was unable to make a withdrawal from a cash machine and began throwing punches at gas station worker Jesse Singh, 27, police and other sources said.
Instead of backing down, Singh went after the attacker, performing deft karate moves as he chased Arzeno down, surveillance footage from the Gulf station on Van Dam St. in Long Island City shows.
Singh, who co-workers said was into boxing and loves the “Rocky” movies, was being questioned by police. Cops say he beat Arzeno, 28, of Queens to death but have not charged him with a crime.
Gas station owner Jervail Singh confirmed his nephew was involved in the deadly fight, but insisted the dead man “had a heart attack.”
“He got him into a chokehold,” added the attendant’s brother, Rajeet. “Maybe that’s how he passed away?”
The confrontation in Queens came a little over seven hours after another hardworking attendant at a Bronx gas station was shot and killed at point-blank range by a robber.
Singh got into the deadly donnybrook with Arzeno at 5 a.m., police said.
“He couldn’t take the money from the machine,” Jervail Singh said. “Then he went inside, knocked on the door and tried to tell” the attendant. Singh said he told the drunk, “ Something is wrong with your card,” the uncle said.
And when Singh came out to help him, the drunk attacked, police and relatives said.
“He punched my guy in the face,” and then tried to hit him with a gas hose, Jervail Singh said.
The fight spilled out into the street and was so fierce Arzeno tore the shirt off his nephew’s back, the uncle said.
Despite the two attacks on consecutive nights, Jervail Singh said that working at a filling station “is not a dangerous job.”
“I’ve been here 23 years,” he said. “The worst is when somebody gets gas and then drives away.”
Arzeno is no stranger to law enforcement. In 2006, he claimed police brutality and got a settlement from the NYPD after he was busted by undercover cops outside a Flushing apartment building.
Surveillance video showed up to five officers knocking Arzeno to the sidewalk — then cuffing and marching him to a squad car.
The Queens district attorney’s office said Arzeno was subdued after he ran from cops who were trying to arrest him for selling coke to an undercover officer on school grounds.
Arzeno eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession and got three years’ probation.
His ex-girlfriend, Marilyn Machado, 26, the mother of his daughter, Kianna, 9, said he was hoping to use the NYPD payoff to change his life.
“I just can’t believe he’s dead. I can’t tell my daughter, today was her first day of school,” she said.