Police were looking for a man suspected of stabbing a good Samaritan who lay dying for more than hour on a Queens sidewalk while passers-by ignored his injuries.
Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, who was homeless, was killed at 5:40 a.m. last Sunday when he tried to protect a woman from a mugger on 144th Street near 88th Road in Jamaica.
More than two dozen people were captured on surveillance camera footage released this weekend walking past him as he lay face down bleeding into the sidewalk.
“Hugo wouldn’t have done that,” a cousin of his told the New York Post. “It’s not important who it is, if we see someone hurt, we should help, at least call an ambulance.”
One person paused to take his picture with a cell phone camera. Another shook him but then walked away. Firefighters arrived in response to a 911 call an hour later. By that time Tale-Yax was dead.
“I think people are afraid to help. Also, he was homeless. Maybe if he was wearing a suit, it could be a lot different,” said Lower Manhattan resident Joe Tarzia, 43. “One time I saw a man exposing himself on the subway and I got up to block him. Everyone else just sat there like, ‘this is New York.’”