A Bronx teen has been charged with murder, gang assault and robbery for the brutal beating that killed 60-year-old Juan Fresnada on Christmas Eve.
New York Daily News reports Abu Conteh, 18, was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the mugging that profited a gang of attackers $1 and led to the death of Fresnada.
As previously reported, Fresnada and his longtime boyfriend, Byron Caceres, 26, were assaulted around 1:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve when they were targeted by muggers outside a McDonald’s restaurant.
Fresnada attempted to protect his younger partner in the attack but was overwhelmed as three men took part in the assault which lasted about 15 minutes according to Caceres.
In surveillance video, one of the gang can be seen slamming a metal trash can down on Fresnada’s head before fleeing the scene of the crime leaving the elder man bleeding in the street as cars, passers-by and a city bus passed by without stopping.
Surveillance video showed Fresnada bleeding on the ground as passers-by, cars, and even a city bus passed by without checking on the man bleeding on the sidewalk.
Fresnada eventually died from his injuries inflicted by the gang, which included swelling in the brain, after clinging to life for three days on a ventilator at Lincoln Hospital.
Conteh was reportedly picked up at his home not far from the scene of the crime after being identified as one of the assailants. Two accomplices have also been identified and police are currently searching for them.
The 18-year-old’s mother, Isataturay Conteh, told the Daily News her son is innocent.
“He saw people fighting and he knows those people in the video but he never touched that man,” said the mother. “It’s not him who killed this man.”
Even with the arrest of Conteh, Caceres says he’s been worried that the suspects might come looking for him.
“I’m nervous about it,” he told the Daily News. “I’m thinking a lot about it…. A lot of people told me that I should cover my face when I was talking to the news.”
“Hopefully justice comes on the way,” he added. “If I have to go to court, if I have to go the grand jury, if I have to do something to recognize this guy, I will do it.”
The couple had lived together in a small apartment in the Bronx since 2016.