Jesus Morales, 67-year-old Long Island resident, was a “sweet man” and a “gentleman,” according to a friend in South Slope.
Morales owned Ramirez Travel on Fifth Avenue near 16th Street for over 20 years, but was killed during a robbery on 18th Street near his business on Jan. 9. At around 7:15 p.m. on Wed., a crook, clad in a black mask and black clothing, pushed him to the ground where he cracked his head on the pavement, and died later at Lutheran Medical Center. Before running off, the crook robbed him for his watch, wallet, and wedding ring.
It was reported earlier that Morales was in South Slope to buy a car, but now new details have emerged that he was actually walking to his car parked on the street after leaving work.
David C. Parsons, a friend and the pastor of St. John-St. Matthew-Emanuel Lutheran Church on Prospect Avenue, said that he wanted to correct the impression that Jesus, who he referred to as “Jesse,” was a visitor to the neighborhood.
According to Parsons, Morales was a respected businessman in South Slope.
“He was a positive influence in the neighborhood and committed to running his business,” Parsons said, who met Morales six years ago. “He was a solid citizen, a gentleman and dressed nicely, always wearing a coat and tie. He was a solid guy and this is just so sad.”
Parsons said that Morales provided free notaries for the church and would speak about his own activity in his church on Long Island, and other activities when they would see each other every week.
“He was a sweet man, a gentleman,” Parsons explained. “This is a very sad moment for the community, and for Mr. Morales' family and associates.”
Cops are offering a $12,000 reward for information that leads to the killer’s capture.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers' website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.