Warning: Distressing Content
An elderly landlord trying to collect $200 from his tenant died after allegedly being shoved down a flight of steps.
Edgar Moncayo, 71, was trying to collect rent on Sunday, January 12, at his building in Corona, Queens, New York, when 22-year-old tenant Alex Garces allegedly pushed him down the front stairs, police have said.
The incident was caught on surveillance footage outside the building, and captures the moment the landlord was caught off guard when the front door to the building was pulled open and he was apparently violently pushed.
The footage can be seen below. Warning: distressing content.
The footage appears to show 71-year-old Edgar talking on his mobile phone on the steps of his property on 102nd Street, at approximately 3pm, when the door of the building suddenly jerks open.
A brief scuffle between Edgar and his tenant, identified by sources as 22-year-old Garces, then ensues before the landlord is seemingly pushed down the red-brick staircase, as per the video, which was obtained by CBS New York.
The footage then shows Edgar falling down the eight-stair flight before hitting the pavement below, where he lays motionless after his head hits the ground.
The tenant and a friend then walk down the steps towards Edgar’s motionless body on the pavement, pausing to check on the elderly man before one starts pacing back and forth frantically.
Police attributed Edgar’s injuries to a landlord-tenant dispute, and were looking for Garces and possibly a second person for questioning. According to reports, Garces was later arrested and charged with manslaughter.
The tenant initially told police the fall was an accident, which happened as he tried to carry his mattress out of the building and hit the front door, causing the 71-year-old to fall.
However, the landlord’s family decided to review the footage from the Ring video camera installed on their property to see what happened for themselves.
Edgar’s grandson, 20-year-old Nicolas Jativa, told the New York Post his granddad was pronounced dead at 12:30pm on Monday, January 13, after being on life support with head trauma at NYC Health + Hospitals.
My grandmother wasn’t home when this happened, she was on her way back home already when she got a call from a neighbour telling her what had happened.
As soon as she saw my grandfather she just dropped to her knees and started crying. I didn’t believe it until I saw the video for myself and it’s horrible.
The landlord lived in the basement of the building with his wife, while the suspect – who reportedly failed to pay last month’s rent – was living on the first floor.
Jativa said there had been problems ever since the tenant moved in last month. ‘It was all about rent, rent money that this guy didn’t want to pay,’ the grandson said.
He said the family was devastated by his granddad’s death, adding: ‘We were all hoping he would survive. Life takes its course.’
Rest in peace, Edgar.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.