A San Jose man was beaten to death while trying to help a man in a wheelchair. People who knew the victim gathered Wednesday night for a vigil. George Kiriyama reports.
They marched on Wednesday evening to the spot where 58-year old Francisco Lugo died early Sunday morning. Dozens of family and friends held candles and walked in silence.
"The reason why he was killed is cause he was saving somebody," Melissa Ramos, his daughter, said."They say my dad was helping a handicapped boy and they hit him."
The family says a young man with disabilities was being chased by three other men and they ended up in front of the young man's home on 12th Street near Jackson Street. Lugo happened to be at that home and came out to help the young man, his family said.
That's when the family says the men turned on Lugo and hit him in the back of his head. But here's the strange part. The people who lived in the home dragged his injured body into their living room and placed him on the couch and did not call 911.
"We're not sure how long my dad was in that house but we know when they got inside, my dad was sitting next to a woman was sitting there drinking water when my dad was dead," Ramos said.
They are just as upset with the San Jose Police. The family says investigators are not doing their due diligence.
"San Jose police are saying it was a cold case, they have no evidence, no leads and they're calling it gang-related," Fred Mata said. "We're not going to buy that. Cause Frank wasn't a gang member. He was a family man."
But San Jose police say the case is not cold.
"Homicide investigators are reverse-engineering the case to try to figure out what happened," Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.
Lugo is survived by his wife, his eight children, 24 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. The family will be holding a memorial car wash this Saturday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the corner of White Road and Mount Vista Drive in San Jose. They are raising money to help pay for Lugo's funeral.