Juan Fresnada died on Friday afternoon at a New York City hospital. Fresnada had been in critical condition after being beaten during a mugging. His partner Byron Caceres, 29, told the New York Daily News that Fresnada was punched while trying to protect him during the robbery.
"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.'"
Police say that two men were walking through the Bronx around 1:30 a.m. when multiple muggers approached them demanding that they hand over their property. The men refused and were attacked by the thieves. Surveillance cameras show a man grabbing another man who appears to be Fresnada by the shirt and swinging him to the ground. Later clips show two other men joining the attack. One even hit the victim with a trash can while he was trying to get up.
"They were beating him for 10 or 15 minutes," Caceres said. "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 was unable to call the police because he did not have a cell phone. After this fatal incident, the muggers only got away with $1.
Caceres and Fresnada lived together in a building near the crime scene. Caceres is originally from Honduras and Fresnada was born in Cuba. Although the men were Hispanic and homosexual, Caceres says that the muggers didn't give any indication that this was a hate crime.
Those who know Fresnada describe him as well-liked in his neighborhood.
"He never bothered nobody.... He’s a beautiful guy," his neighbor, Aletha Jacobs, said to the Daily News.
As of Wednesday, police are still looking for the suspects.