Victorino “Victor” Galeon Malabayabas Jr. | Photo via Facebook
NEW YORK – It was perhaps too much for a 60-year-old Filipino to bear the pain he endured and lose his life over a tissue asked by an unknown assailant.
The victim, Victorino “Victor” Galeon Malabayabas, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland, was bringing groceries into his home when a suspect asked him for tissue and attacked him. The assailant grabbed Malabayabas shirt and pushed him against a vehicle and then to the ground, according to Baltimore Police. The suspect took his wallet and quickly ran away. Although medical personnel arrived and treated him at the scene and took him to the hospital, he died the following day, Aug. 21, due to injuries he sustained.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner declared Malabayabas’ death a homicide on Tuesday, Aug. 23, according to the police as they continue to investigate the incident and search for the suspect.
Malabayabas’ internment was on Monday, Aug. 29, at the Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, New York, according to an obituary at legacy.com.
In a statement, Mariela Fletcher, newly elected president of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), sympathized with Malabayabas’ family and loved ones. “It is absolutely horrifying that crimes like this continue to happen, particularly to the vulnerable members of our community, and a Navy veteran, no less,” she said. “NaFFAA, and our Hate Crimes Task Force, are prepared to support in any way we can. We certainly hope that as we continue to give these violent crimes limelight and show solidarity in their wake, it will deter further acts of violence….”
Added Fletcher: “NaFFAA is committed to empower our community through collaboration, and we pledge to do so in Victor’s memory.”
Also, NaFFAA’s National Chair, Brendan Flores, issued a call to action to elected officials, local authorities, and public servants to take concrete action and comfort those afflicted. “We ask for authorities and elected officials in Baltimore, Maryland, to take the necessary steps to heighten police visibility and address mental health issues, especially among the homeless,” Flores said.
Malabayabas was a graduate of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy and a navy pilot for more than a decade before migrating to the U.S. in 1996, according to a 2013 article about him in the Catholic Review. While in New York, Malabayabas worked as a dishwasher at a nursing home and on a boat ferrying customers from Manhattan to Queens. He eventually passed a brokerage operation test and continued working at Morgan Stanley for almost 20 years.
Malabayabas volunteered at his local church, St. Casimir Church, the Friends of Patterson Park, and the Patterson Park Audubon Center, where he served in several roles and became well-known and loved by his Canton community.
His wife, Carina Malabayabas, survives him; his children, Miguel (Kristen), Camille (Carl), Greg, and Keira; and his grandchildren, Beckett and Blakely.
NaFFAA has urged anyone to consider donating to the Malabayabas’ GoFundMe page here.