69-year-old homeless man beaten over Inwood catcalls dies

INWOOD, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 69-year-old homeless man repeatedly punched after apparently catcalling a young woman outside a store in Inwood last week has died.

The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine Lucia Bravo's cause of death.

The man arrested in the assault, 18-year-old Branlee Gonzalez, could face upgraded charges.

Gonzalez was walking with his female cousin on Sherman Avenue around 3:30 a.m. last Thursday when the victim and a 39-year-old man allegedly shouted catcalls at the woman. Police say Gonzalez then attacked the two men.

People who live in the area say the homeless routinely hang out along the strip, but they'd never witnessed them haggling women.

"A lot of blood and cuts, I feel a little sad because it's really old people," said a nearby grocery store manager who didn't want to be identified.

He said the girl was part of a group that cameras captured before the confrontation, and that the group seemed riled up before they even encountered the homeless man.

"If he said something bad, is it OK to defend a woman?" he said. "It's not OK, like, let it go, and not have things personal. You can pass by."

The victim was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where had been listed in critical condition in the ICE since the attack. The 39-year-old man also was taken to the hospital with injures.
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