A New York father made a joke as he left the house Wednesday morning, telling his daughter he might not be coming back.
Jacinto Suarez, a 65-year-old father of 10, was randomly attacked by a man as he waited for a subway later that afternoon in downtown Brooklyn, according to NBC4.
Police said the dad was standing near the edge of the platform when an 18-year-old man, who was talking to himself, got close to Suarez, at which point Suarez told him to “get away.”
The stranger walked away at first, but came back and allegedly tried to grab something from Suarez before sucker-punching him, knocking him onto the train tracks below.
Good Samaritans jumped in to help get the unconscious father off the tracks. Though Suarez didn’t get hit by a train, he suffered a massive heart attack, leaving him in critical condition. He was pronounced dead at Brooklyn Hospital.
The New York Post reports his daughter, Tylenea Gonzalez, was in shock. She told the paper, “He never bothered nobody. I don’t know why anyone would do anything to him.”
Through tears, she described Suarez as a caring man who was helping her raise her children:
“His silliness, his smile, he was always dancing with the kids, cracking jokes.”
Tragically, one of her father’s jokes was the last thing she’ll remember. Gonzalez told The New York Post:
“He supposedly got accepted to SSI, [supplemental security income] so he was going down there. He was going over his case cause they told him they were going to send him his check on the first (of the month). They never did, so he was upstairs joking about it this morning and was like, ‘I’m going to go down there and I’m not coming home until they give me something’ and he was on his way back home they said when it happened.”
The family of the alleged attacker, Edward Cordero. was already familiar with his mental issues, according to the New York Daily News.
Cordero’s sister, Daribel Lugones, told the publication:
“They had him in Bellevue and they released him without our consent,” Lugones said.
She added that her brother stopped taking his medicine for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia:
“He was supposed to be on three different medications but he’s run out and refuses to get more.”
Cordero’s family has suffered through the man’s acts of cruel terror themselves. Lugones said her brother slammed her cat and cut her with a Christmas ornament.
“He doesn’t go to school. He attacks members of our family. He was here last night. He was screaming ‘The devil is alive’ all night long.”
Police sources said Cordero was talking about God, heaven, and hell when his attack sent Suarez flying off the platform, the New York Daily News reports. The source said:
“This wasn’t part of a robbery or anything. He just went off and the victim happened to be there.”
Cordero didn’t flee the scene after Suarez fell to his death. Police took him into custody and expect him to be given a psychiatric exam at Bellevue. The NY Daily News reports Suarez could be charged with murder if the autopsy shows Suarez’s heart attack was caused by his assault.
See more on the tragedy below: