Updated 12/15/2008 11:07 AM
Vigil Held For Victim Of Alleged Bias Attack
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Family members are mourning the death of a man who was brutally beaten in an alleged bias attack in Brooklyn.
A family spokesperson said Ecuadorian immigrant José Sucuzhañay, 31, died late Friday night.
The real estate broker died just hours before his mother arrived in New York from Ecuador to see him.
Police said four men in a burgundy Ford Explorer attacked José and his brother Romel last Sunday morning on Bushwick Avenue in Bushwick.
Witnesses told police the attackers were yelling anti-gay and anti-Hispanic slurs.
Sucuzhañay was hit in the head with an aluminum baseball bat and kicked.
Police have released a sketch of one suspect in the case. He's described as a dark-skinned male between 18 and 20-years-old, about six feet tall with a thin build.
At the time of the attack, he was wearing a dark baseball cap, a black leather jacket, dark jeans and boots.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stopper hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting CRIMES to TIP577 or by visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
A $22,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Meanwhile, a vigil was held Saturday to protest the attack on the Sucuzhañay brothers.
Elected officials, community groups and Bushwick residents came out to raise awareness and later marched to the site of the crime – shutting down traffic with their numbers.
"We're here today to say no to hatred," said community activist Anamaria Archilla. "We're here today to say no to violence."
"We're going to remember him until there is justice and we're going to remember every single day as we keep the fight going until this is the last time," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
At Elmhurst Hospital, Jose's grief-stricken family is still coming to terms with the loss. His two small children will grow up without a father.
"I am at a loss beyond words from the passing of my brother," said the victim's brother, Diego Sucuzhañay. "My heart is broken, and his memories will live forever."
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says this case is a top priority for his office.
"You're going to be caught, you're going to be convicted, and you're going to go to jail for the rest of your life, and the only way you'll ever get out of prison is in a box," said Hynes.
In the meantime, candles will continue to burn for Sucuzhañay.