Family, friends remember Rene Perez

April 28, 2008 7:44:15 PM PDT
Monday marked a sad and disturbing anniversary in Westchester. It was one year ago that Guatemalan immigrant Rene Perez was found dying along a road. A Mount Kisco police officer is now charged with allegedly beating Perez and dumping his body.

Monday night, those who knew Perez remembered him.

Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues has the story.

A year after he was found dying along a road in Bedford, Perez' family attended mass and remembered him as a loving and generous man.

"We're all here to support my uncle and to say that we should all stay together," niece Mareli Recinos said.

Stay together, as the victim's family and friends face the upcoming trial in May, hoping then to get the answers they are looking for.

The mass was held in a church just a parking lot away from the Mount Kisco police headquarters. Prosecutors accused a cop in connection with Perez' death.'

Former police officer George Bubaris has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges.

Investigators allege that the Bubaris dumped Perez in Bedford and inflicted a fatal blow to the 42-year-old's abdomen after Bubaris and two other cops responded to Perez's 911 call for help from a laundry mat. It was captured on surveillance tape. Perez had been complaining of stomach pain.

Family members and friends of the victim acknowledge that he had problems. They say he was an alcoholic and homeless.

Records show he had more than 300 run-ins with police for public intoxication and larceny. But those who knew him say his past did not warrant such a brutal and lonely death, allegedly at the hands of law enforcement, the very people he called for help.