NEW YORK (WABC/CNN) - A New York man is charged with manslaughter after he allegedly pushed his 71-year-old landlord, who was trying to collect rent, down a flight of stairs to his death.
The family of 71-year-old Edgar Moncayo says the landlord was simply trying to collect rent Sunday afternoon from 22-year-old tenant Alex Garces. The renter had reportedly missed at least a month’s payment, given his landlord problems and was threatening to leave without paying.
Following a dispute over the unpaid rent, police say Garces pushed Edgar Moncayo down the front stairs of his building.
The victim was found at the bottom of the staircase, unconscious and bleeding from the head. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later pronounced dead of a traumatic brain injury.
"The guy pushed my dad so furiously that my dad flew from the front door to the concrete of the sidewalk,” said Cristina Moncayo, Edgar Moncayo’s daughter.
In court Tuesday, it was revealed that Garces initially told police he was moving a mattress and accidentally knocked Edgar Moncayo down the stairs. But officers say Ring surveillance video, which they reviewed during the investigation, shows the victim was pushed.
“We didn't expect this to ever happen. It's like a dream, you know, a nightmare," said Juan Jose Farfan, Edgar Moncayo’s grandson.
Farfan says that before his death, his grandfather had tried to help Garces with the rent, reducing it from $400 to $200 per month.
Edgar Moncayo lived with his wife in the basement of the New York City home and rented out the floors above. The two are described as a gentle couple from Ecuador with three daughters and several grandchildren.
Family says he emigrated nearly 30 years ago and worked two jobs as a parking attendant, so he and his wife could buy their home and raise their family.
Cristina Moncayo says they will donate her father’s organs, as he would have wished.
Garces pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree manslaughter. Bail was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.