THE BRONX — An elderly Bronx man was found dead in his apartment Wednesday with a strange message written on his chest in red lipstick, according to police and news reports.
Neighbors discovered 75-year-old Joe Fisher on the kitchen floor of his 1265 Walton Ave. apartment about 11:20 a.m. Wednesday with the words "Who's b---- now" scrawled on his chest Wednesday morning, police and the New York Daily News reported.
He was unconscious, unresponsive and had severe head trauma, police said.
Neighbors who spoke to DNAinfo.com New York Thursday described Fisher, whom they called "Mr. Joe," as a quiet but friendly man who mostly kept to himself.
"Mr. Joe was a good person. He never hurt nobody," said Joe Williams, 32, who moved into the building four months ago. "This building is good. I don't know how that happened."
Williams said he often saw Fisher coming and going and frequently stopped to help the elderly man carry his shopping bags upstairs.
"How you gonna write that on an old dude's chest?" Williams said. "I don't know who would want to do this to him."
Neighbors said Fisher lived on the fourth floor of the Walton Avenue building for several decades. On Thursday, the door to his apartment was covered in fingerprint dust and was sealed off by police as a crime scene.
Several security cameras guard a small courtyard outside the Bronx apartment building, which residents described as a safe place to live, where everyone knows one another.
"I'm here 40 years, and this is the first time something like this has happened," said tenant Eliza Muniz.
Sonia Valez, 46, who grew up in the building and now lives around the block, said she had known Fisher since she was a child. The incident put her and others in the neighborhood on edge.
"This is scary — you see this on TV," Valez said. "I tell my mother, 'Don't open the door for nobody.'"
Valez said she was shocked when she heard the nature of the crime, especially in light of Fisher's age.
"He was so weak, even an 11-year-old could hit him and knock him down," she said. "Whoever did this is a coward."