The boyfriend of a man who was brutally beaten to death and robbed of only $1 in the early hours of Christmas Eve has revealed he is terrified for his life as the suspects remain at large.
Juan Fresnada, 60, died after he was attacked by five men outside a deli on Third Avenue in The Bronx, New York City, at around 1.30 a.m. on Tuesday, the New York Police Department said.
His boyfriend, Bayron Caceres, 29, said they were leaving a McDonald’s when they were approached by a man who demanded money, the New York Daily News reported.
Caceres told the newspaper that he and Fresnada went inside a deli to escape but the man followed them there. They tried to run away, but a group attacked them outside the deli.
“They start beating me on my head and my whole body. They threw me on the floor. I hear my husband screaming police, police, police,” Caceres told CBS New York.
Surveillance footage captured the horrific attack, including the moment one of the assailants hit Fresnada with a steel trash can. Police said five men attacked the couple and robbed them of just $1 before fleeing the scene on foot.
Fresnada was taken to Lincoln Hospital in a critical but stable condition. He died in hospital at 2 p.m. on Friday, a police spokesman confirmed to Newsweek.
Caceres told the Daily News that Fresnada was beaten for 15 minutes. When his attackers finally fled the scene, he wasn’t able to call for help as he doesn’t own a phone and tried in vain to perform CPR.
Caceres told the newspaper that he doesn’t believe the incident was a hate crime and said the suspects didn’t hurl any homophobic abuse during the attack. Although he is concerned for his own safety, he said he can’t stay quiet because he wants justice.
“I’m so scared for my life,” he told the Daily News. “The (suspects) are running from the law. I can’t stay quiet. I need justice for what they did to us.”
He told CBS New York: “If they killed him they might kill somebody else. I don’t want anybody else to have the pain that I’m going through because it’s not fair.”
The five suspects are described a black, in their late teens or early 20s and all were last seen wearing dark clothing.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online.