BUSHWICK. Hugo Tale-Yax died alone, but many New Yorkers will remember him as a hero — not a police officer or a firefighter, but a man who simply did the right thing.
A wake for the homeless Guatemalan immigrant was held yesterday in Brooklyn. Tale-Yax, 31, was stabbed after trying to protect a woman who was being accosted; more than 20 people passed him by without helping as he died on a sidewalk in Queens.
Some at the wake had never met the man. “He was a total stranger to me,” said Nereida Reyes, 52. She wept in front of his open casket. “And he died on the floor … I’m going to go home and tell all my friends to come to this.”
The Guatemalan ambassador said the consulate received 50 calls in the past week, from “regular New Yorkers” asking if they could attend the wake.