Man dies after attacked while helping another

July 3, 2012 3:13:06 AM PDT
He was trying to help someone in trouble, and it cost him his life.

Gerlin Mota was a retired corrections officer, so when he saw someone in need, his instinct was to help. And that's just what he did outside a late-night diner.

According to police, Mota was leaving the diner in Newark in May when he came to the aid of someone involved in an altercation.

A group of as many as 12 individuals then jumped Mota, leaving him with a nose fracture and bruising on his face. He was sedated, but he became more ill as time went on.

He died this past Wednesday at the hospital, apparently from pneumonia. The family says they have not been told the official cause of death.

Funeral services for Mota were held on Monday. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

"I buried my brother today," Efi Mota said. "There's frustration there. This shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have happened."

Mota worked at Northern State Prison and Annandale State Prison until he suffered a back injury that forced him to retire.

Alvaro Portillo, 39, is under arrest in connection with the attack. Police say that with Mota's death, charges are likely to be upgraded.

Police say they are still looking for the other suspects.

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