A 60-year-old gay Bronx man who was beaten and stomped by a group of men men during a robbery has succumbed to his injuries.
Juan Fresnada had been walking with his 29-year-old partner outside a McDonald’s on Third Avenue, near East 163rd Street, in the Bronx’s Morrisania neighborhood, around 1:25 a.m. on Christmas Eve when they encountered their attackers
Footage from a surveillance camera shows a man swinging Fresnada by the sweatshirt, knocking him to the ground. That man then stomps on Fresnada, punching him in the face while two additional suspects join in the attack.
The robbers then hit Fresnada with a trashcan before fleeing the scene of the robbery. Police say they absconded with just $1, reports the New York Post.
Fresnada’s unmarried partner, Byron Caceres, told the New York Daily News that they were first confronted by a single man who came up to them and demanded money. The couple went into a nearby deli to get away, but the man followed them inside.
“My husband tried to defend me,” Caceres said. “The guy had his fist ready like he was ready to attack me. My husband said, ‘Don’t you get close to him.'”
Caceres then said other men joined in and began attacking them, and Fresnada told Caceres to run away. Caceres, who suffered injuries to his head and his legs, said he was eventually able to return after the assailants fled the scene, but does not have a phone and could not call 911. As a result, Fresnada was left bleeding on the street, with multiple people, cars, and even an MTA bus driving by his body without stopping to help him, reports NBC New York.
“They were beating him for 10 or 15 minutes,” Caceres said of the attackers. “I went back and found him on the floor. He was breathing heavily and bleeding from his head. I tried to give him CPR but then a guy said I should stop because of how heavily he was breathing.”
Caceres said he does not believe the attack was a hate crime, as the assailants did not shout any homophobic slurs at them.
Fresnada was critically injured and rushed to Lincoln Hospital, where he was placed on a ventilator, suffering from fractured skull and bleeding from the brain. He eventually died on Friday around 2 p.m., police say.
The New York Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Program shared still photos taken from surveillance cameras of suspects they believe were involved in the attack on Fresnada. Anyone with information on the case can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. The Crime Stoppers Program offers awards of up to $2,500 for anonymous information that leads to the arrest and indictment of a violent felon.
“Somebody knows what happened,” Aletha Jacobs, a neighbor of Fresnada and Caceres, told the Daily News. “Somebody knows those boys and should turn them in so they can be brought to justice.”
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