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Ted Koppel's Son Dies Tragically After Reportedly Binge Drinking

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Jun. 1 2010, Published 6:14 a.m. ET

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Andrew Koppel, son of TV newsman Ted Koppel, was found dead in a Washington Heights apartment Monday morning after reportedly spending a day drinking with a man he had just met at a bar in NYC.

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The New York Post reports that 40-year-old Andrew was declared dead after paramedics arrived at a run-down apartment and found Andrew unconscious and not breathing in a bedroom.

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Russell Wimberly, a 32-year-old waiter, met Andrew at a bar in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of the city and brought him to the apartment 12 hours later at around 11 p.m.

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Belinda Caban, who lives in the apartment, said Andrew "was just really messed up when he came in. He was very drunk."

"I didn't understand anything Andrew said," Belinda  told the New York Post. "We took him to the bedroom and laid him down to rest."

Belinda Caban and Russell Wimberly called 911 after they found a couple hours later that Andrew had gotten sick and didn't appear to be breathing.

"His complexion wasn't right. It was pale. I said to call the police," Belinda explained. "When the ambulance came, they said he was dead."

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Andrew reportedly started drinking at around noon at Smith's Bar & Restaurant when he made friends with Russell Wimberly.

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"He had a straw hat on, and I had one on, and he said, 'Nice hat, man,' " Russell said. "We got to talking, and he started buying me drinks." He added that Andrew drank straight whiskey, wanted to move from bar to bar and sipped a pint of Jameson as he did so.

"There was a lot of alcohol. He didn't take anything else drugs around me, and neither of us ate all day," he said. "We talked about our kids... He said he had a kid and loved her a lot."

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Andrew, who was an attorney for the New York City Housing Authority, lived with his girlfriend and their baby daughter.

After Russell and Andrew took a taxi to Belinda Caban's apartment, Russell said that Andrew "wasn't feeling good. I told him to lay down and turn the light off. He was snoring really loud. I thought he was out."

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Andrew was Ted and Grace Anne Koppel's only son and the third youngest of four children.

In 1994, he was convicted of a misdemeanor assault after striking a U.S. Senate aide in D.C. and ordered into alcohol treatment.  Three years earlier, he was in a fender bender while driving Ted's Mercedes, reportedly drunk, in Maryland.

As of yet, Andrew's cause of death has not been determined and no one has been charged.

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