67-year old Jesus Morales was killed on Wednesday evening in a robbery on 18th Street. According to police reports, he was approached by a thief around 7:15pm and pushed to the ground, cracking his head on the sidewalk. Police responding to the call found him lying on the sidewalk between 5th and 6th Avenues with head injuries. He was transported to Lutheran Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Though he lived in Merrick, Long Island, Morales (known by friends as Jesse) was a South Slope fixture for over twenty years, running Ramirez Travel at 579 5th Avenue. Over at South Slope News, neighbors and customers remember him as family:
Silvestre Valerio of CNS Family Hardware, located across the street from Jesse’s travel agency, may have been one of the last people to see him before the attack.
“He was in here at 6:45pm or 7pm last night,” Silvestre told us. “He would always close up his office, and just come over to say hi. He asked how my family was. Oh my God, I can’t believe this.”
Silvestre and his co-worker, Francisco Puebla, who both grew up in South Slope, have known Jesse for years.
“He was so much more than a neighbor,” said Silvestre. ”He was like a father to me.”
This afternoon police released a photo of his wedding band, which was stolen during the homicide. No arrests have yet been made.
Photo via Facebook.