CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE
ALBERT BALDEO CONDEMNS SENSELESS MURDER OF IMMIGRANT & MEDIATES
WITH CITY/STATE AGENCIES ON FAMILY'S BEHALF
City Council candidate and attorney at law Albert Baldeo has condemned
the senseless murder of Jagat Ram Balram, a Guyanese hardworking
father, and is calling on the District Attorney to ensure that justice
is done. "This case will be followed closely by my office to
ensure that the penalty is grave enough to deter these senseless
acts of killing in our community. Was this a hate crime, or a wanton
criminal act? I call upon law enforcement to thoroughly investigate
and prosecute this case to the fullest. Only recently, another immigrant
family, the Beharry family of Ozone Park, suffered a similar fate
when a parolee, destroyed their life by brutally killing the father.
I blamed the City for his early release, which made him prey upon
our residents. Now, another brutal killing. Our community does not
deserve this. My deepest sympathy goes out to the Balram family."
Baldeo, after visiting and sympathizing with the family, has also
contacted the NYS Crime Victim Compensation to secure $6,000 for
the family's benefit, and is contemplating raising funds to defray
funeral expenses and other costs of the Balram family, who lost
their father and husband in his senseless killing by 18 year-old
Jagat Balram, a 52-year-old bus mechanic, was walking home from
work early yesterday, but suffered a fatal heart attack when he
was accosted by Roque, who had been drinking and terrorizing the
quiet Richmond Hill neighborhood. Roque allegedly fractured his
skull and broke his nose and at least one rib. The medical examiner's
office said the victim, who had high-blood pressure and heart disease,
died of a heart attack caused by the assault.
Roque admitted to the attack and was charged with manslaughter,
the Queens district attorney's office said. "This is a case
where Mr. Balram just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong
time," a law enforcement source said. Police source said Roque
downed a number of drinks in a friend's home, and then hit the streets
of Richmond Hill, confronting residents.
After several confrontations, including one with a man who wouldn't
back down, Roque pounced on Balram, who was heading home from his
job as a bus mechanic just before 1 a.m., police said.
Balram's family, meanwhile, are left to deal with the pain and
suffering at the loss of a father and a husband. The loss is further
compounded by expenses of approximately $10,000. "My father
never troubled anybody," Hardeo said. "So why would somebody
go and do that?" He said their last conversation was his father
saying that he was off to work. "Now he's dead. I can't believe
this," he said.
Newsday reported that Balram's widow, before breaking down in tears,
said she would like her husband to be remembered "as a loving
husband and father" to Hardeo and his 25-year-old brother,
Chateram, who stayed behind in Guyana when the family emigrated
in November 2003.
"To believe in the American dream, as Balram and family did,
and to go back in a coffin to your native land, is very heart wrenching.
No one should die so wantonly. We demand justice for the Balram
family!" Baldeo said.