$2K reward offered; consul says attack on Robert Martirez may not be about race

His family requested privacy, says Consul Felipe Carino. Photo: DNA Info

His family requested privacy, says Consul Felipe Carino. Photo: DNA Info

By Cristina D.C. Pastor

A $2K reward is being offered by the family of limo driver Robert Martirez, 56, who died June 24 or two days after he was attacked blocks away from his Elmhurst home. Some members of the Filipino American community also contributed to the reward fund.

This was disclosed by Consul Felipe Carino, who told The FilAm the family has also requested for privacy.

“His family has requested for privacy, according to the hospital, but we left contact details in case they would need any assistance,” said Carino who is in charge of the Philippine Consulate’s Assistance to Nationals (ATN) unit.

Carino disputed reports about racial slurs allegedly coming from the suspect. Published reports state that the unidentified attacker asked Martires “Are you Filipino?” before punching him in the face around midnight of June 22.

“It’s not along racial lines, according to investigation provided to us,” Carino said. “No conclusion at this time, but we hope the investigation is fair.”

Martirez died the afternoon of June 24 from the severity of the assault.

Carino also disputed reports the consulate has not been heard of in connection with the case. He said an ATN officer was immediately dispatched to the Elmhurst General Hospital from day one and remains in touch with police authorities and hospital. The “unprovoked” assault on Martirez was reported by some local media as possibly a bias crime.

“The consulate immediately sent an ATN officer to check on his medical condition, we just learned that he passed away. He expired in the afternoon,” he said.

Carino said the consulate is “exploring” possible humanitarian efforts in case the family decided to reach out with any request for help.

“Any effort to assist, such as transporting the remains, we will support, we will explore that and do everything we can for the family,” he said.

Meantime, the Filipino American community is keeping a close watch on the case, with some members calling for more proactive response.

“There should be a strong rally on this,” said advocate for the Filipino elderly Consuelo Almonte of New York.

The media describes Martirez as a church-going family man. He was reportedly wearing a yellow Manny Pacquiao shirt when he was beaten up by a man described in published reports as Hispanic-looking.



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