The Dyker Heights community has come together and raised thousands of dollars for the family of a 55-year old Brooklyn man who died during a violent mugging outside a neighborhood bodega.
John Sarquiz was attacked outside of Dean Mini Mart on 13th Avenue on March 29, and was violently beaten during the assault.
Emergency responders arrived on the scene and brought Sarquiz to NYU Langone Hospital, where he remained hospitalized until he passed away on April 3.
On April 7, Rogelito Macapobre shared a GoFundMe with all proceeds going towards funeral and burial costs, along with the ongoing support of the victim’s mother. Macapobre says Sarquiz stood as the primary caretaker for his mother and helped her financially.
“When John’s father died 10 years ago, John made a promise to care for his mother until the day she died, and that was what he was doing 110%,” the fundraiser said. “She was everything to him, and he was everything to her. So much more than money was robbed that day; the beautiful relationship between a mother and son was destroyed, leaving his mother, a strong but now deeply wounded woman, struggling to make sense of it all.”
Quickly, donations began pouring in, and neighbors began rallying to the cause — including local Council Member Justin Brannan who showed his support on Twitter.
“John’s family & friends are raising funds to help with funeral costs and since John’s financial assistance was a major part of his mom’s income, additional $$ will help provide continued support to his mother,” the pol Tweeted. “Please consider a donation if you are able.”
Friends and family remember Sarquiz as a simple man with a good sense of humor, compassion for his community and deep love for his mother.
“All he wanted was to care for his mother, to work, to listen to music and watch the game. His one reprieve from the daily care of his mother would be a visit to 13th avenue, where he was known and loved by many,” the fundraiser said.
As of April 11, 90 donors have raised $5,736 of the $20,000 goal.
Anyone with information on the ongoing case is encouraged to contact NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or they can leave a tip online.