Brooklyn Hate Crime Victim Dies

Jim Burroway

December 14th, 2008

José Sucuzhañay, 31, the Ecuadorian immigrant who was brutally beaten early Sunday morning with a bottle and baseball bat died last night. He was beaten along with his brother, Romel, by passengers from a maroon SUV who saw the Ecuadorian brothers walking arm in arm after leaving a bar from a long night of drinking. The attackers mistook the two brothers as gay.

Jose had been declared brain dead on Tuesday and a death certificate was filed. His mother was still enroute from Ecuador when Jose passed away. The family had kept him on life support pending his mother’s arrival, but his heart stopped on Friday.

The attack occurred about 3:30 a.m. last Sunday as the two brothers were walking home after having been drinking. José and Romel were drunk and were holding each other as they were helping each other get home. Three men in a red or maroon SUV saw them and apparrently mistook them for being gay. They jumped out the SUV and one of the men broke a bottle over José’s head. When he fell to the ground, another began beating him with a baseball bat while the others kicked and punched him, yelling anti-gay and anti-Hispanic slurs. When Romel called 911 on his cell phone, the assailants piled back into the SUV and drove away. Romel was not seriously injured in the attack.

Police have made no arrests. They are investigating the murder as a hate crime.

There will be a vigil today in Brooklyn starting at 2:00 p.m. at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Grove Street. They will then walk to the site of the attack at Bushwick Avenue and Kossuth Place for a vigil at 4:00 p.m.

Regan DuCasse

December 14th, 2008

Peace on Earth…goodwill towards men.

Yeah, I was being ironic…

If I lived in Brooklyn, an area I really like in NYC, bet that I’d be there to pay my respects.
I’m still very moved by what Romel said in defense of all who love each other, gay or not.

Bless this good man and his family.
Tenderness and public affection between people shouldn’t carry a death sentence.

Only perverts go into a killing rage for witnessing such a thing between men.

Which reminds me…

Yesterday, the LA Times carried a large front page picture of one man kissing the cheek of the other. They were both older in age.

It was a white coach, kissing the cheek one of his former basketball players. Apparently the older gentleman had been a remarkable and dedicated father/mentor figure to the black kids on his team during tense race relations at Fairfax High.

Imagine what such affection and commitment did for all those young people at that time.
Such a simple gesture can have so much meaning, could save a life…it’s not something that does or should take anything away.
Not anyone’s sense of security, manhood or dignity.

In this time, we shouldn’t have to consider that there are those still disturbed so by any gesture of physical kindness.
How frightening to think so…and that will make for a much colder place where we need warmth.

Prayers for this family…prayers for us all, people.


December 14th, 2008

I do hope the attackers are caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


December 14th, 2008

Let’s hope so, John.

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