The brutal murder of an Ecuadorian has raised the spectre of hate crimes in New York. The city police are still hunting for suspects in the killing of Jose Sucuzhanay, who died Friday, five days after he was hit in the head with a bottle and beaten with a baseball bat. Police said Jose Sucuzhanay and his brother Romel had left a party at a church when several men approached them in a car in Brooklyn's Bushwick section, about a block from the brothers' home, on December 7. The men shouted anti-gay and anti-Latino vulgarities and attacked the brothers, police said.
Romel, 34, escaped with minor scrapes and has talked with detectives. Police have released a sketch of one possible suspect in the case.
AdvertisementPolice are offering a $22,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the attack.
In a statement, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the attack "a pointless and gutless crime." He promised authorities would find and prosecute those responsible.
Another Ecuadorian immigrant was killed last month in Long Island, 50 miles from Brooklyn. A teenager has been charged with first-degree murder as a hate crime in the death of Marcello Lucero, 37, who police said was stabbed in the chest as he walked to a friend's apartment.
Hundreds of people marched Sunday through the Brooklyn neighborhood where Sucuzhanay was attacked, carrying signs saying "no more hate crimes."
Family spokesman Francisco Moya told Jose Sucuzhanay, 31, had lived in the United States for more than a decade and was a legal resident.
The dead man's brother, Diego Sucuzhanay, told CNN Jose set up a successful real estate business in a low-income area, thinking he could make a difference there.
They had wanted to help everyone and hired a diverse team, including four African-Americans and two Latinos. He was raising two children: a 9-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter.