Passersby Fail to Help Dying Man Beaten in East Village Attack, Video Shows
EAST VILLAGE — A 68-year-old ex-garment worker beaten to death a block from his home lay on the sidewalk for more than four minutes before anyone stopped to help, according to police reports and video of the attack.
Ruan Wen Hui, who lived on Avenue C near East 7th Street, was seen on security video being attacked, beaten and abandoned by his assailant. Several passersby walked passed him about 8:45 p.m. Friday outside 745 East 6th St., footage obtained by the blog EV Grieve shows.
"Why didn't they call the police?" said Hui's sobbing niece, who declined to give her name. She was overcome when she watched as one man doubled back to look at her dying uncle before moving on without aiding him.
The video shows a woman eventually came to his aid.
"He loved everyone. We are very sad to see him go. It was so sad when we saw him in the hospital," said Hui's daughter, Michelle Ruan, who flew in from Arizona after the attack.
"I hope that people come forward and they tell the police," Ruan added.
Hui was walking down East 6th Street when a man came up behind him and started yelling at him, police said.
The man then grabbed Hui by the shoulders and hurled him into a wall, sending Hui slumping onto the ground. His attacker then stomped and kicked him in the head, the video shows.
Afterwards, the attacker calmly walked back the direction he came while Hui lay slumped on the sidewalk, the video shows. Hui lay there for at least four minutes as passersby walked on the sidewalk near his body, some looking, but none intervening, the video shows.
Police arrived on the scene seven minutes after the attack and Hui can be seen moving his legs as an officer approaches, according to the video.
Hui's skull was fractured during the assault and he was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital a day later, the NYPD said.
A police spokesman said the attack may have been a robbery, but the investigation is ongoing.
Hui liked to exercise and spend time outdoors, playing board games in the park, relatives said.
Hui's niece, who insisted on showing reporters the video of her uncle's last moments, said she couldn't understand what prompted the attack.
"My uncle was a nice man," she said. "Why did he do this?"
Neighbors said Hui quickly made friends on the block.
"He was the sweetest person you've ever met. He would click with anyone," said Hortencia Ingles, 42.
"He was as sweet as apple pie. He was a very outgoing person."
Police are offering $2,000 for any information about the attack.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).
With reporting by Trevor Kapp.