The violent murder of 15-year-old Bronx resident Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz has resulted in local lawmakers to take action against the bodega where the teen was murdered outside by alleged gang members.
This week, Councilman Ritchie Torres issued a statement to New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs expressing his outrage over the negligence of Cruz & Chilky Grocery and its owner’s inaction for not calling 9-1-1 while Junior was dragged out of the store.
“An owner who stands by idly while a 15-year-old is dragged out of his store and murdered in cold blood with a machete is no longer worthy of doing business in NYC,” Torres wrote in the statement. “While it might be unfair to expect a business owner, untrained in the law enforcement, to perform heroics in the midst of savage gang violence, the failure to do something as basic as calling 911 is morally unconscionable.”
“Unaided by the store owner, Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz, an innocent child, was left to fend for himself, bleeding to death after a heinous gang attack,” he added.
The Councilman went on to urge the Department of Consumer Affairs to hold Cruz & Chilky Grocery accountable for the late teen’s death by issuing a revocation of its business license.
“As the local Council Members, we feel deeply the public’s outage and urge DCA to hold Cruz & Chiky Grocery accountable for failing to demonstrate – in a moment when the life of an innocent child was at stake — the good moral character required by law.”
On Thursday, Councilman Torres also launched the Care Cafe initiative, in partnership with Yeshiva University, which will provide grieving residents impacted by gang violence with assistance from mental health professionals and trauma experts.