THE BRONX — A 52-year-old man was found beaten and gagged to death in his Wakefield apartment Wednesday night, police and the Medical Examiner's office said.
Miles Klein was found unconscious in his first-floor apartment at 4769 White Plains Road just after 10 p.m., a police source said. He had been viciously beaten in the head, officials said.
"He was pretty bloodied up," a police source said.
Klein was unresponsive by the time cops arrived, police said, and he was later pronounced dead at the scene.
A spokeswoman for the city medical examiner said Klein died of "blunt trauma of head with obstruction of airway by gag."
Police did not have details about what was used to gag Klein.
No one has been arrested.
Klein was remembered Thursday as a big sports fan who was disappointed by the collapse of his favorite football team.
"We'd always talk about sports in the hallway," Joseph Collins, 44, who lived down the hall from Klein. "He was a diehard Jets fan. He was disappointed about last season.
'He said, '8-8 ain't gonna cut it. We'll try again next season,'" he added, referring the New York Jets' 2011 record. "He was a cool guy."
Neighbors said Klein, who lived alone, was always friendly to fellow residents in the high-rise building.
"He'd always say hi," one neighbor who refused to give her name said. "I just knew him in passing, but he was friendly."
Klein had two prior drug possession arrests, in 1986 and 2008, a police source said.
But to neighbors, the reclusive Klein showed no signs of having a substance abuse problem. Instead, he always showed an energetic and youthful side, they said.
"He dressed young," said Kimberly Lopez, 17, who lives on the fourth-floor in the building. "He wore baggy clothes and long shorts."
Lopez added that Klein always talked about a granddaughter he wasn't in touch with.
"He would say he rarely sees her, but he misses her," she added. "He was alone."
Police said a motive for the killing was not immediately known.
Meanwhile, Linford Brown, 55, who lives on the fourth-floor, said he's been pestering the superintendant for better security in the building.
"I asked him about the cameras, and he said it's too expensive," Brown said.
The superintendant declined to comment Thursday.
Brown said the killing underscores the need for better security in the building.
"I don't feel safe," he said. "It's not safe here."