LOGAN SQUARE — A sunset vigil drew about 40 neighborhood residents to "the eagle" Thursday night to honor a homeless man brutally beaten to death last month in Logan Square.
Ernesto Garcia was days away from his 60th birthday when he was killed, according to Rev. Erik Christensen, of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square. Garcia — “a neighbor without a home whose life was taken in a senseless act of violence” — wasn’t known to many of those present, but the impact of his death was felt by all.
Garcia was an immigrant from Guatemala who lived in Chicago for about 10 years before his death, Christensen said. At around 10:50 p.m. on Aug. 30, Garcia was in an alley in the 1900 block of North Ridgeway Avenue when two people got out of their car and punched and kicked him, according to authorities.
He was later taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to police spokeswoman Janel Sedevic.
The bilingual vigil at Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Boulevard was a collaborative effort between several members of the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance, who arranged the gathering to mark the passing of Garcia because “he has no family to grieve his death.”
“We lament the way each of us in the community failed him,” Christensen told the crowd, noting the many other homeless men and women “who will be sleeping in their cars this winter.”
According to the group’s blog, the vigil, in addition to remembering Garcia, was “an opportunity to advocate for the needs of men and women who daily face exposure to harm because of housing insecurity.”
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: