Arrest Made In José Sucuzhañay’s Murder

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2009

José Sucuzhañay

José Sucuzhañay

New York Police has arrested a suspect in the December 7 beating death of José Sucuzhañay. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last night that police arrested Hakim Scott of the Bronx and were looking for a second suspect.

We have done what we said we were going to do, bringing Jose’s killers to justice,” Bloomberg said. “In this city, there is no such thing as a second class citizen.

“Anyone who commits a hate crime, we will not rest until we arrest them.” Bloomberg said.

According to witnesses, José was walking arm-in-arm with his brother Romel after a night of heavy drinking when several passengers in a maroon SUV mistook them for a gay couple. Someone yelled, “Check out those faggots over there,” as the SUV pulled over and as many as three attackers emerged from the vehicle. 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. The attackers fled when Romel called 911. Romel was not seriously hurt, but José was declared brain dead a week later.

Hakim Scott

Hakim Scott

Scott has a lengthy rap sheet, including arrests for assault, robbery and weapons possession. He will be arraigned on Thursday on a charge of second degree murder as a hate crime. According to police, he was the one who broke the bottle over José’s head. Once in custody, Scott “made a full confession,” according to investigators.Two others are still being sought.

Keith Phoenix

Keith Phoenix

Update: Police are offering a a $22,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the second suspect. Police say that Keith Phoenix, 28, was vehicle’s driver. They also say he was the man who beat José with an aluminum baseball bat. Phoenix is on parole for armed robbery and is a friend of Scott’s from their Bronx neighborhood.


February 26th, 2009

I’m glad they caught him, and I hope they get the other guys soon.

Sal and Laura

February 26th, 2009

I glad one man was caught and hope they catch the other one I lost my best friend. He was a very caring man. I hope his mom is okay dealing with her loss.

Sal and Laura


February 26th, 2009


Justice shall be done!

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