PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (PIX 11) — It was 43 degrees–warm for a January evening–when Jesus Morales closed up his Lucky Star Realty on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope–and began walking just over two blocks to his car, parked on 18th Street. This would not be a lucky day. In fact, it would be the last, few minutes of his life.
A mugger in a ski mask knocked him to the sidewalk, in front of 255 18th Street. The lanky assailant, wearing a black track suit, rummaged through Morales’ pants pockets, and told a woman watching from twenty feet away to keep walking.
“He looked up at her and said, ‘Stop looking at me,'” Detective Donnamarie Mazza from the 72nd Precinct Squad told PIX 11.
Morales, 67, was bleeding badly from his head, as the mugger ran toward a crowded Sixth Avenue, off 18th Street.
Not long after Morales was brought to the hospital, the resident of Merrick, Long Island was pronounced dead, on January 9, 2013.
News that the father of ten children–and grandfather to 25–had been killed caused some businessmen on Fifth Avenue to burst into tears.
“Jesse never had an unkind word for anybody,” recalled Jerry Aviles of Caesar’s Carpets on Fifth Avenue, “He was the nicest man, he always had a smile! He always treated everyone with respect. You cannot go wrong, knowing a man like that.”
Shanti Ramkelawan of Baba’s Deli remembered Morales, known as Jesse, came in every day for decaf coffee.
“To lose Jesse, you feel like something is missing in the morning.”
Detective Mazza said her investigation showed Morales was a generous soul who helped people in need, including the homeless.
“He would give them the shirt off his back,” Detective Mazza said. “He fed people. He gave them little ‘odds and ends’ jobs, just to make a few dollars.”
Jesus Morales’ widow, Esmeralda, told PIX 11 the couple married 28 years ago. She was a 29 year old widow with three, young children. Morales had six children from a previous marriage.
“He raised my three, other kids,” Esmeralda Morales said. “The youngest one was five years old.”
The couple had a daughter, Jessica, five years after they married. She is now 23 years old.
Jesus Morales was born in Puerto Rico and dreamed of moving back home. But his wife wanted to stay in New York. Just last year, he had graduated from a bible study program.
“He would be in church, if you let him, seven days a week,” Esmeralda Morales said.