The victim of a deadly beating that took place in Park Slope early Sunday morning has been identified as 22-year-old Alex Santiago, whose wife was eight months pregnant with their child. Police say the scuffle began when a fight broke out between Santiago and his friends and another group of men at a bodega. The second group left, but returned about 10 minutes later in a black car to attack Santiago and his friends.
Local Joseph Rivera tried to stop the attack, but said the gang of about 20 was too powerful. "All these guys were just pounding on this kid...I got on the phone to call the cops and one of the attackers threw a crowbar that smashed the window next to me. I've lived here a long time and I've never seen anything like this."
Another victim, Jonathan Burgos, was brutally stabbed and is currently recovering at Lutheran Medical Center. But Santiago was stabbed and beaten with a tire iron, and was pronounced dead at New York Methodist Hospital. His cousin told City Room, “He was a good brother, a good son—he was a gentleman, always respectful of his elders."
As Rivera commented, Park Slope seems like an unlikely place for such violence. Recently rated the most livable neighborhood in New York by statistician Nate Silver, it ranks high on safety. Rivera said other witnesses were in shock, and "just standing around watching like there was nothing going on." But perhaps it all happened too fast to do anything. Witness Kaia Ross-Duggan said all she saw was a "huge fistfight," but later saw "one of the same guys who got hurt...walking down the street with blood on his face and a baseball bat."