Updated 12/17/2008 06:27 PM
Brooklyn Bias Attack Victim Remembered At Funeral Mass
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With sadness in his eyes, Romel Sucuzhañay carried his brother's casket with his siblings, friends and community leaders by his side.
Romel was with his brother Jose the night they were attacked in Bushwick. Community leaders who gathered for the funeral said the beating has devastated Sucuzhañay's family and the Ecuadorian community.
"Could you imagine christmas time and we lost a member of the family. I think they are just devastated. And we feel that as Ecuadorian,"
"I think we need to be united as New Yorkers whenever we see an innocent life being taken away. And we need to double our efforts whether we speak of our homes, our neighborhoods, our city," said Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares.
Jose Sucuzhañay was taken off life support last Friday, nearly a week after the attack.
Police said on December 7, four men in a burgundy Ford Explorer beat the 31-year-old and his brother with an aluminum baseball bat and broken bottles. Witnesses said the attackers were yelling anti-gay and anti-Hispanic slurs. The brothers were apparently walking arm-in-arm after a night of partying.
"We feel hurt and we want this to have peace. To try to get the communities to come together black. Yellow, pink, all colors to get together to avoid all of this kind of aggravations," said Dino Dominguez, Ecuadorian Civic Center Community.
Police have released a sketch of one of the suspects believed to be involved in the attack. He's described as a dark skinned man between 18 and 20-years-old, about six feet tall with a thin build. He was seen wearing a dark baseball cap, a black leather jacket, dark jeans and boots.
A $28,000 reward is now being offered in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.
In the meantime, Sucuzhañay's body will be flown to his native country for burial on Friday where the president of Ecuador is expected to give his condolences to the family in person.