A Filipino veteran died from his injuries resulting from an unarmed robbery in Baltimore, Maryland.
Victor Malabayabas, 60, was on the 600 block of S. Kenwood Avenue in Canton when an unidentified man asked him for a tissue at about 5:40 p.m. on Aug. 20, according to the Baltimore Police Department.
“When the victim went to give the male tissue, the male grabbed the victim by the shirt and pushed him against a vehicle and then to the ground,” police said. “The suspect then removed the victim’s wallet before fleeing the location.”
According to Malabayabas’ neighbor, the robbery took place while he was bringing in groceries into his house. The witness called the police and started yelling before other neighbors came out to help Malabayabas.
He was treated by medics at the scene and was taken to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries the following day. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Malabayabas’ death a homicide on Tuesday.
Malabayabas moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1996, and he served in the U.S. Navy for more than a decade. After his military service, he worked for Morgan Stanley for almost two decades. He is also remembered as a well-known volunteer and fixture in local Catholic church activities in southeast Baltimore.
“Because Victor was so well known and so well loved, everybody right now is in a sort of state of shock, disbelief, and we’re all trying to wrap our heads around what has happened to Victor,” Rev. Dennis Grumsey of St. Casimir Church told WBAL-TV.
“He’s one in a million, and he will be sorely missed,” Napoleon Curameng, a friend of Malabayabas’ from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, told WBFF Fox45. “A very giving person, and unfortunately, that’s what did him in is that he gave somebody a tissue. It’s really very hard for us that his kindness was the one that took him out of this world. Knowing Victor, he’s a forgiving guy, but justice has to be served.”
A GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $50,000 has been set up on behalf of Malabayabas’ family.
“He always had a great smile as he helped out in church during masses,” organizer Jacqueline Fields wrote. “He has a wife and two children. He worked two jobs along with all of his volunteering. Just a good man. This was a senseless crime and now a good man with a family had to leave his wife and children without him. Please help this family. They, along with the community, are heartbroken by this loss.”
An investigation of the incident is ongoing. Police are still searching for the suspect.
Anyone with information is urged to contact homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers 1-866-7Lockup.