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Jose Carrero 50 dies after attack at a deli Washington Ave. and E. 184th St. Belmont

‘Someone lost their life over a ten-cent Jolly Rancher': Bronx grocery worker beaten senseless by a customer over a ten-cent Jolly Rancher purchase dies four months later.

A deli worker in the Bronx was beaten senseless by an unruly customer purchasing a dollar's worth of Jolly Ranchers — and died four months later from his horrific injuries, police and family members said Wednesday.

Jose Carrero, 50, sustained head and facial injuries in a Feb. 24 attack at a deli on Washington Ave. and E. 184th St. in Belmont.

Carrero's niece told the Daily News that he was hospitalized and later transferred to a long-term care facility, where he died Sunday.

Jose Carrero 50
Jose Carrero 50

Francheska Kuilan, 32, of the Bronx, said the family was devastated by Carrero's death and the brazen violence of yet-to-be-apprehended assailants.

“The entire situation is ludicrous and infuriating,” she stated. “Why would these children believe it is acceptable to beat someone senselessly? Without a heart, there is no concern in the world.”

“It broke me — even more so after viewing the videos. I was inconsolable,” she explained.

The altercation inside the deli, captured on surveillance video, shows angry customers throwing punches as the owner and others attempt to push them out.

“Over ten-cent Jolly Ranchers, someone lost their life and someone has to follow up with doctors because he almost lost his life and vision,” she added, referring to her stepfather, Bonelly Cruz Sr., 59, the deli's owner who was also beaten bloody during the altercation.

The two man who entered the store and purchased Jolly Ranchers.
The two man who entered the store and purchased Jolly Ranchers.

Kuilan stated of her uncle, "He was in a coma for two months at St. Barnabas and then in a nursing home for another two months."

“All he had was us,” she explained. “Whenever he saw us, he always expressed gratitude for the blessing of our children. He was devoted to our family. He struggled. He was desperate to be here. However, God had other plans.... the doctor declared him brain dead. As a family, we decided to remove him from life support. We didn't want him to be in pain.”

“All for the sake of a dollar's worth of Jolly Ranchers,” she wept.

According to Kuilan, two men entered the store that day and purchased Jolly Ranchers — but were "still upset afterward, one pretending to have a gun."

Kulian asserted that her uncle, brother, and stepfather — whom she referred to as her father — escorted the pair out of the store, precipitating an altercation.

Jose Carrera in the hospital
Jose Carrera in the hospital

She recounted how the enraged customers returned to the store with several additional people.

“These little hoodlums returned about 5-7 minutes later with about six, seven guys, and when my father approached one of them, (he) took a brick and assaulted my (step)father by throwing it close to his face, causing him to collapse to the floor in a pool of his own blood,” she explained.

“At this point, my uncle attempted to shield my father by scaring them away with a broom,” she continued. “Rather than that, they had other plans for him and assaulted him repeatedly. While my uncle was unconscious on the floor, they beat him repeatedly, punching, kicking, and stomping on him.”

According to Kuilan, her stepfather is still undergoing treatment for an orbital fracture sustained during the attack.

Bonelly Cruz Sr. (circled) moments before he was struck by a rock or brick.
Bonelly Cruz Sr. (circled) moments before he was struck by a rock or brick.

“A few days later, she was intubated and placed on life support,” she explained. “He spent two months in the hospital and another two months in a nursing home... three weeks later, he returned to the operating room to have a section of his skull replaced.

Carrero never had a chance, according to one witness who requested anonymity.

“That man was incapable of defending himself,” the witness stated. “He swept, mopped, and emptied the garbage. He was not deserving of that.”

No arrests have been made.


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