AMID the uptick in violence against older Asian Americans, an elderly Filipino man was killed last month in an unprovoked attack in Phoenix, Arizona.
Juanito Falcon, 74, was out on a morning walk on February 16 when he was punched in the face by a man for “no apparent reason,” the Phoenix Police Department said in a statement.
Officers responded to reports of an assault around 11:20 a.m. at a Kentucky Fried Chicken parking lot near 17th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.
When they arrived, they found Falcon with head injuries from falling on the ground and hitting his head on the pavement. Falcon was initially believed to have suffered only abrasions and contusions to the face.
However, when he was taken to the hospital, doctors found he had a skull fracture and that he needed surgery. Falcon ultimately died from his injuries two days later on February 18.
“It is in such great sorrow that we are mourning my father’s passing. I have a lot of questions. Nobody should experience what happened to my father. I want this incident to be a cause of awareness to everybody,” Malou Acunin, Falcon’s daughter, told 12 News.
“I don’t want the same incidence of violence and crime to happen to anybody, especially to the elderly,” she added.
The detectives found probable cause to arrest 40-year-old Marcus Williams in connection to the homicide, according to ABC15.
Williams was taken into custody on Wednesday, March 3, after an autopsy identified that Falcon’s cause of death was blunt force trauma.
Court documents stated that Williams fled in a car after attacking Falcon. Witnesses were able to provide a partial license plate and description of Williams’ car, leading to his arrest.
He was booked into Maricopa County Jail for one count of murder.
The Phoenix Police Department said there were “no indications” that the attack on Falcon was motivated by race.
“If information is discovered, that will be part of the investigation,” said the department.
Falcon’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.
“We will always remember him as a loving man, always attentive to the needs of others. He was an avid gift giver, willing to go out of his way to make someone’s day. He was a man of sacrifice, especially for his family and us, his grandchildren,” the page said. (Ritchel Mendiola/AJPress)