NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 56-year-old man has died three days after police said he was attacked early Saturday in Woodside, Queens.
Roberto Martines, 56, was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital Center on Tuesday, police said.
Residents in Woodside said Martines, who lived nearby, was leaving a restaurant on the corner of 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Queens when he was attacked.
Just after midnight, a man walked up to him and punched him in the face, police said.
“Immediately he punched him at his face, and he fell down and crushed his head here,” said Benjamin Ytac, a friend of the victim.
The victim was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital in critical condition.
People in the neighborhood claim someone asked Martines, “Are you Filipino?” before attacking him, but police told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan Monday that they know nothing of that, and are not investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his early to mid-20s with facial hair. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a dark baseball cap. Area residents told Stern the attacker may have just stepped out of a bar, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported.
“I feel so bad, because the guy is a quiet person,” a friend of Martines’ told Stern. “He’s not a troublemaker.”
“He’s a good guy. He’s not going to start a fight,” friend Abet Manuel added.
“Imagine going to dinner and getting hit for no reason,” neighbor Hyrije Berisha said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips to the Crime Stoppers website or texting 274637(CRIMES) then entering TIP577.
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