The 71-year-old owner of a single-family property in Corona, Queens, has died, a day after he was pushed down the building’s front stairs by a rent-owing tenant, police said.
Landlord Edgar Moncayo was pronounced dead at 12:30 p.m. Monday at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst after being on life support with head trauma, the New York Post reported, citing the landlord’s family.
Around 3 p.m. the day before, Moncayo had been attempting to collect rent from 22-year-old tenant Alex Garces when an altercation occurred, police told the Post.
“It was all about rent, rent money that this guy didn’t want to pay,” the landlord’s grandson, Nicolas Jativa said. Jativa also told the Post that his grandmother wasn’t home at the time of the incident, and received a call from a neighbor about it on her way back.
“As soon as she saw my grandfather she just dropped to her knees and started crying. I didn’t believe it until I saw the video for myself and it’s horrible,” he said.
Although Garces initially told police that he had accidentally pushed Moncayo down the stairs while trying to move his mattress out of the building and hitting the front door, the incident was recorded on the Ring video camera installed in front of the building.
In the footage, which the Post published Monday night, Moncayo can be seen trying to hold the front door shut while telling someone over the phone to “call the police” in Spanish. The door is eventually forced open and the landlord flies down the stairs, striking his head against the sidewalk. Two men in baseball caps exit the building shortly after.
The victim and his wife lived in the basement of the building, while Garces lived with a woman and child on the first floor, sources told the Post. The tenant had said that he would be living alone when he moved in just a month ago, and he was one month behind on rent.
Police are seeking Garces and possibly a second person for questioning. [NYP] — Kevin Sun