Brooklyn resident Solomon Samuel died after he was assaulted by another man over a $40 debt.
Samuel, 44, was found unresponsive on the roof of Brownsville Houses in Brooklyn on last Friday, as reported by PIX11. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, where he later died.
Brooks Bailey, a homeless man, was arrested and charged for the death. An autopsy determined Samuel died from strangulation.
Mark Samuels, Solomon’s bother, told The New York Daily News investigators assumed he overdosed and “wrote [Solomon Samuel’s death] off.”
After Mark asked around, he found out the tragic circumstances of his brother’s death. Bailey reportedly owed Solomon $40 and he was trying to collect the debt.
“The guy owed him money,” Gold Samuel, Solomon’s sister, said. “[Samuel] went to try to get the money from the guy.”
He started calling various NYPD precincts until the case got more attention.
“The ambulance just wrote it off as a regular drugged person on a roof,” Mark said. “If I didn’t do all the footwork and everything it probably would have been left at that.”
Even though Solomon died at Bailey’s hands, his family blames his struggle with addiction. Despite his illness, Gold remembers him as a noble person.
“My brother was a very nice guy, if you asked him for something he’d give it to you,” Gold recalled. “Even when my brother was on drugs, he would never ask me for money.”
Mark hopes some change will come from his brother’s death.
“Hopefully maybe this can help us get some kind of petition or something to where if you see a family member and you know they’re on drugs and their health is at risk — but they continue to go to drugs — they’re allowed to take them off the streets,” Mark told The New York Daily News.
“He’s dead now, not just at the hands of this man, but at the hands of them drugs.”