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Jogger murder suspect’s dad says son is too peaceful to be killer


The father of the man suspected of killing Queens jogger Karina Vetrano insisted Sunday that his son was a peaceful, “very humble kid” who was more likely to be the victim of violence than a perpetrator. “It’s extremely surprising,” Richard Lewis, a former Brooklyn principal, said of the arrest of his son, Chanel Lewis, 20. “Chanel would never have gone to do what they say he has done. He’s never had a fight in his 20 years,” said the dad, 70, who brought along his son’s high-school diploma from Martin De Porres High School in Far Rockaway, Queens, to show reporters. “He’s a humble kid. He’s a very humble kid.” Richard Lewis, the former principal of PS 181, said that last year, three local East New York youths mugged Chanel and whacked him in the head with a piece of wood, leaving him hospitalized. Later, the thugs mugged Chanel Lewis a second time, the dad said. Cops have said Chanel Lewis had no priors before being arrested on murder and sex-assault raps in Vetrano’s death in a Howard Beach park in August. Richard Lewis said his son was a good student. “He did extremely well,” the dad said. He said his son was planning for a career in social services and received money and recommendations from his high-school principal. The young man is not currently employed and lives with his mother Veta Lewis, sisters and a brother, Richard Lewis said. The dad said he came to the East New York home where his son lives with his mother after seeing his boy’s name in the news Sunday morning. Richard Lewis said he had never heard about the Vetrano case until Sunday. “I saw it on the television this morning,” Richard Lewis said. “I’ve never heard about it. I’ve never read about it. Nothing at all.” The dad said he would tell Vetrano’s family, “I’m sorry to hear about [your daughter], but I’m sure that [Chanel] would not be a part of that.” FILED UNDER ARRESTS , DEATHS , FAMILY , KARINA VETRANO

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