Three teenage boys have been arrested over the death of a man, who was fatally attacked in front of his husband, in New York City on Christmas Eve.
According to the police, Juan Fresnada, 60, was killed while attempting to defend his husband Bryan Caceres from a gang attack after they had left a restaurant in the Bronx. Juan was beaten to death, and in disturbing video footage released by police, Fresnada can be seen being thrown to the ground and
The attackers stole $1 from the couple after smashing rubbish bins over Fresnada’s head for period of 15 minutes. Fresnada was hospitalised with brain injuries and spent three days on a respirator before fatally succumbing to his injuries on December 27.
A 14-year-old and a 15-year-old boy, both charged as minors, are facing murder charges alongside 18-year-old Abu Conteh over the killing. Conteh and the unnamed 14 and 15-year-olds both face charges of gang assault and second-degree murder.
“I’m scared I’m going to get like a life sentence. I didn’t even touch that man,” said Conteh, denying his involvement in the attack while speaking to New York Daily News.
The attack has left the LGBTQ+ community of New York reeling, with Caceres saying that his husband was a brave man who only tried to defend his husband.
“My husband tried to defend me. The guy had his fist ready like he was ready to attack me,” he told Daily News.
“My husband said, ‘Don’t you get close to him.’ They were beating him for 10 or 15 minutes. I went back and found him on the floor”.
Caceres has told the media that he does not believe the attack was homophobic in nature because he did not hear the attackers use any gay slurs.
No hate crime charges have been filed in the case.