BED-STUY — Esther Diaz can't make sense of why her husband is lying in a coma, and she struggles to explain to her two young sons why their father, Domingo Diego-Tapia, can't come home.
Diaz's husband was punched off his bike by an unknown assailant nearly two weeks ago — and still, his attacker remains at large.
"I don't understand why my this happened to my husband," Diaz, 33, said through tears at a candlelight vigil Tuesday night near the Bed-Stuy intersection where her husband was hit. Flanked by politicians and bike advocates, she called for justice and prayed for her husband's recovery. "He is a loving father, and he didn't hurt anyone."
Diego-Tapia, 38, has been in a medically induced coma since the night of June 8, when a stranger punched him at random at Fulton Street and Albany Avenue as he was riding home from his job at a grocery store. He suffered a fractured skull, and has had two surgeries since the attack, according to police and family members.
The ordeal has been a financial hardship for Diaz, who told DNAinfo that for a time she was walking more than an hour each way to and from Kings County Hospital, unable to afford a taxi or a MetroCard.
On Tuesday, the family launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for medical expenses and Diaz's travel to and from the hospital, and the page had raised more than $3,000 by Wednesday morning.
Diaz said she had trouble at first explaining to the couple's two young sons, Pedro and Jose, why their father couldn't come home after the attack.
The boys, 7 and 5, were roughhousing on the sidewalk before the vigil began, and for a moment seemed unaware of the gravity of their father's condition. At one point, the younger boy pointed to a donation box with a picture of Diego-Tapia in his hospital bed.
"Papi is sick," he said.
Speaking at the vigil Tuesday, Borough President Eric Adams promised to personally give $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest.
"During this time you may feel like you are alone, but you are not alone," Adams said, "We will provide the necessary resources and services, and I'm calling on all Brooklynites to help."
Councilman Carlos Menchaca, speaking in both Spanish and English, pledged to catch the unidentified assailant.
"We will find you and we will bring you to justice," Menchaca said.
Diaz said she is also calling on immigration authorities to grant Tapia's parents a humanitarian visa so they can enter the country to see their son.
The suspect, who can be seen in police photos released Friday, is in his 20s and was last seen wearing sweatpants, sandals, a Nike baseball cap and a long-sleeved shirt with the letter "G" on the chest, police said.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the date of the attack. It was June 8, not July 8.