Suspect charged in deadly East Village beating

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Michelle Charlesrworth reports on the arraignment of the man accused of beating an elderly man to death in the East Village. (WABC)

The man accused of brutally beating a 68-year-old grandfather to death in Lower Manhattan is due in court Wednesday.

Jamie Pugh, 20, was taken into custody Tuesday and later charged with murder, attempted robbery and assault in Ruan Wen Hui's death, a crime that devastated a family and stunned a community.

Police say they always believed that the suspect lived somewhere in the area, and Pugh was identified after someone called their confidential tip line following the release of surveillance video of the incident.

Hui was walking on East 6th Street between Avenues C and D in the East Village Friday night when Pugh approached him unprovoked from behind, yelled at him and then shoved him against a wall.

Hui, who had just finished visiting his grandkids, then fell to the ground, where Pugh punched and kicked him in the head before casually walking away.

The victim was hospitalized and later pronounced dead on Saturday.

"He's cold blooded, he was not thinking," Hui's daughter Michelle Ruan said. "We cannot believe this kind of person lived in this area, because my parents live here almost 20 years, and nothing like this ever happened to them."

Detectives say Pugh has a lengthy rap sheet for a 20 year old.

"We are happy to hear the news, but we won't be completely happy until he goes to jail," Michelle Ruan said. "He needs to pay for what he did."

Ruan left a secure government job in China more than 20 years ago to provide his children with a better life in America, even though he knew his life would be harder because he spoke no English. And while it was harder, his daughter said, it never changed him one bit.

"My father is the kindest person in the world, everybody that knows him knows he always has a smile on his face even though he doesn't speak English," she said. "When he sees anybody, he smiles, and be kind to other people."

Anyone with additional information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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