EAST VILLAGE — Community members have raised almost $5,000 through an online fundraiser for the family of Wen Hui Ruan, the 68-year-old man who was beaten to death on E. 6th St. on May 9.
East Village resident Alta Tseng, 37, said she set up the Fundly campaign Monday night after attending Ruan’s memorial and meeting his family. She was shocked by the violent incident and wanted to help Ruan’s relatives, she said.
“It could’ve been anyone. It was so pointless and unprovoked, it’s terrible,” Tseng said about the attack.
Ruan was on his way home May 9 when Jamie Pugh, 20, confronted him outside 745 E. 6th St. at around 8:45 p.m., prosecutors said. When Ruan, who spoke limited English, tried to walk away, Pugh grabbed him by the shoulders, threw him down and then stomped and kicked his head. Ruan died from his injuries the next day.
The campaign has raised $4,456 from 49 individuals so far, according to the website. Its goal is $5,000.
“I know funeral services cost at least that much, but I’m hoping that we earn more than that,” she said, calling that number a “manageable and reasonable amount to try and shoot for.”
The Fundly page has also served as a way for the community to give the family their condolences.
“The family of Wen Hui Ruan weighs heavy on my heart. I can't give as much as I would like, but here is a little something to help. Much love,” wrote supporter Denise Hausen.
“So sorry for your loss. Condolences from a neighbor,” a supporter identified as Gregg Bordes wrote on the site.
The campaign page will continue to accept donations for 56 more days. Once it closes, Tseng will give Ruan’s family the money using the bank information it handed out during the memorial, she said.