'Beautiful' man beaten and mugged over $1.40 on Christmas Day dies

A man beaten and mugged over $1.40 on Christmas Eve has died.

Juan Fresnada, 60, died on Friday afternoon (local time) at the Bronx hospital where he was taken in critical condition after the mugging early Tuesday, the New York Police Department said Saturday.

Officers have released surveillance photos and videos in hopes of pinpointing suspects.

His husband, Byron Caceres, 29, told the Daily News of New York that Mr Fresnada suffered the fatal blows while trying to spare him and urging him to run to safety, which he did.

He "tried to defend me", Mr Caceres told the paper.

Juan Fresnada and Byron Caceres were mugged in The Bronx. Mr Fresnada has since died. Source: News 12 The Bronx

He said he had been unable to summon help because he doesn't have a phone.

Police said the two men were walking in the Morrisania neighbourhood of the Bronx around 1.30am when several muggers approached them and demanded their property.

When they refused, they were attacked.

Surveillance video clips released by police show a man grabbing another man's shirt and swinging him to the ground, then hitting him. 

News 12 The Bronx reports the man in the video being attacked is Mr Caceres.

Surveillance video clips released by police show a man grabbing another man's shirt and swinging him to the ground, then hitting him. Source: Twitter/ NYPD Crime Stoppers

Later clips show two other men joining the attacker, one of them grasping a garbage bin, as the beaten man starts to stand up.

The muggers took US$1 from the men and fled, police said.

Mr Caceres, originally from Honduras, and the Cuban-born Mr Fresnada met through a program for poor gay men in 2015 and lived together in a building in Morrisania, according to the Daily News.

"He's very calm, and I'm the one who is stressed all the time," Mr Caceres said Wednesday. 

Mr Caceres said the muggers didn't say anything to indicate the attack was a hate crime.

A neighbour, Aletha Jacobs, told the Daily News that Mr Fresnada was well known and liked in the area.

"He never bothered nobody," she said.

"He's a beautiful guy."

With The Associated Press

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