March 11, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
Neighbors are rallying to support the family left behind after a Woodside man was murdered with a pipe last weekend.
Martin Quiej, owner of Tauros Party Supplies on 54th Street, was struck in the head with a metal pipe in the early morning of March 5. Police found him lying on the ground with lacerations to his head; he was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he later died.
This week, members of the Woodside community launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Quiej’s family.
According to their campaign page, which can be viewed online here, money will go into a bank account set up for Quiej’s son, also named Martin. Organizers have set a fundraising goal of $10,000.
The campaign page describes one neighbor’s harrowing experience of witnessing the attack unfold and waiting for police to arrive.
According to that account, Quiej had attempted to diffuse an argument between two men outside his store before he was struck with the metal pipe. Police confirmed that there had been a dispute but not Quiej’s role in it, however, footage obtained by NBC 4 New York shows Quiej stepping into an ongoing argument.
Fundraisers also wrote that they are “outraged” with police response time.
“It went on for a long while and still, NO COPS SHOWED UP!” the page reads. “[Neighbors] feel like Martin’s death could have been prevented.”
Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Victor Mendoza, a 21-year-old Woodside resident, was arrested for the attack.
Police are still looking for another man, described as a Hispanic male, last seen wearing blue jeans, black shoes and a gray jacket.