She says it’s time to speak out and speak up for her boyfriend, Tyrese Haspil, the 21 year old who police and prosecutors say committed a gruesome act — killing and dismembering the man he worked for, tech entrepreneur Fahim Saleh.
“I know him as a person, I know that he hates conflict and he’s so nice to people. He would never hurt a fly,” said Haspil’s girlfriend, Marine, who did not want NY1 to use her last name or for her face to appear on camera.
Dean Meminger: He would never hurt a fly, but the cops said he did a horrible, horrible thing.
Marine: I know what they’re saying.
Dean Meminger: You don’t believe them?
Marine: I can’t believe that. It’s not the person I am with.
Marine is 22 years old, says she’s from Europe, and that she’s been dating Haspil for almost two years.
Police say Haspil handled Saleh's finances and personal matters as his executive assistant, and owed his boss tens of thousands of dollars.
Haspil allegedly tased Saleh, stabbed him to death and then cut his body into pieces with a saw inside Saleh’s $2.5 million apartment on East Houston Street in the Lower East Side two weeks ago.
His girlfriend says she defends Haspil completely.
“To have everybody attacking him and no defense whatsoever, and I know that I am the person that knows him the best,” Marine said. “So it felt, like, important to be able to tell people to keep an open mind, because we don’t know what is going on.”
Haspil’s Legal Aid lawyers agree, and claim the NYPD and Manhattan prosecutors leaked information to the media and press about their 21-year-old client, who they say has not been in trouble before.
“They put out these facts, allegations that sullies our client to paint a picture to the public that this guy is a bad dude before the public knows anything about it,” said Attorney Neville Mitchell. “He’s entitled to due process of law.”
Marine was in New York on a student visa when she met Haspil through a mutual acquaintance. That’s when their relationship began, according to Marine.
Her lawyer, H. Benjamin Perez, said Marine was questioned by police for several hours about Saleh’s death, but is not considered a suspect.
“I wanted to make sure that there were not any legal issues or problems for her that were either coming in the future or currently existing now,” Perez said, when asked why it was necessary Marine acquire a lawyer. “I just don’t believe that there are going to be charges against Marine in any capacity. I don’t think she knows anything about this homicide.”
Marine says she going back home to Europe now.
“I feel like he’s my only family here, so without him, I need to go back to my family … I’m so heart broken to leave him behind.”
Marine added that they were thinking about getting married. When asked whether or not that was still the case, Marine responded, “Yes, sir.”
She says Haspil looked up to the 33-year-old Saleh as a role mode, she’s horrified over his death, and that the cops need to catch his killer.
The NYPD say they already have the man responsible.