Visitor stuck in country after stabbing

May 16, 2008 8:12:21 PM PDT
He came to this country three weeks ago to take part in a United Nations conference. And there is nothing more he'd like to do now than go home to his native Ecuador. But he can't.

He is stuck here because last week, he was the victim of a crime. He was beaten and then stabbed. And doctors say he can't go home, at least not yet.

Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid has the story.

Jorge Quishpi's life's work brought him to New York. Now, 30 stitches are preventing him from going home.

He says he was walking on the sidewalk when he was approached by three men who wrestled him to the ground, then stabbed him in the side, all for the mere $50 in his wallet.

Jorge was staying with friends in Peekskill while he promoted his organization at a U.N. conference on indigenous people.

He ran out to the store last Monday night to get a phone card to call his wife and six kids to tell them how everything went. And on his way back, he was stabbed, yet managed to get away.

Alberto Lema says the men tried to kill his friend. Jorge had intensive surgery on his intestines and has been bedridden ever since.

He managed to garner the strength to show off the wooden whistles, hand-crafted toys and colorful handbags created by 70 artists from across Ecuador.

The 38-year-old says he never imagined this would happen to him. But neighbors say they've seen a spike in violence over the last few weeks.

"They are targeting the hispanic people around here all the time," Faith Scott said. "It's everywhere in Peekskill now."

Jorge says he sorely misses his family. He only planned to stay for three weeks, but now doctors say he can't go home for another six.

Despite a vague description of the culprits, Jorge hopes whoever did this is caught so it doesn't happen to anyone else.