As mourners paid tribute late Wednesday to a high school football star stabbed to death in a Bronx parking lot just after his graduation, his father pleaded not guilty to assaulting the men who were allegedly involved in the fatal attack. NY1's Tetiana Anderson filed the following report.
As friends and family lit candles and laid flowers on Manhattan's West Side Wednesday night to remember the life of 19-year-old Isayah Muller, his father Andre was arrested in connection with his death.
The younger Muller died after being stabbed Tuesday night during a fight in a Bronx parking lot.
Mourners at 55th Street and 10th Avenue in Manhattan, where Isayah grew up, said that the life of the recent high school graduate was cut too short.
"I do miss him and I want to go wake him up. I miss my baby," said Myrna Valentin, Isayah's grandmother.
The elder Muller pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assault and his bail was set at $10,000 bond.
A grand jury was still deciding late Wednesday whether or not to indict two parking attendants who were also allegedly involved in the Bedford Park brawl.
On Tuesday, the Muller family left their car in a parking lot just next to Lehman College, where they attended Isayah’s graduation. As they drove to dinner, the elder Muller noticed something was missing.
"They were on their way to City Island and his father told him, 'Your presents are in the back,' and the presents weren't there," said Frank Vasquez, Isayah's cousin.
Police say the father noticed a bottle of cologne was gone. He drove back to ask the parking attendants about it, a fight started and police say the father hit one of the workers repeatedly with a shovel.
A blade appeared during the fight and Isayah Muller was stabbed in the chest and later died.
"We're in shock. We can't believe it. We're hurt. It's just very emotional," said Amanda Sanchez, Isayah's cousin.
People who knew the star football player said he was destined for greatness as a professional. Most recently, he led the Truman Mustangs to win their first-ever Public Schools Athletic League Bowl back in November.
"He had a full scholarship for football to Long Island University," said Vasquez.
According to the PSAL website, Muller ran 908 yards last season and scored 15 touchdowns.
Isayah Muller's mother, who is currently pregnant, was left with the pain of marking her late son's birthday, high school graduation and funeral within a matter of days.