The 55-year-old man who was knocked unconscious during a brutal mugging outside a Brooklyn deli died of his injuries this week, according to police sources and his grieving family.
John Sarquiz was standing outside Dean Mini Market on 13th Avenue near 73rd Street in Dyker Heights around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday when a man punched him from behind, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head, authorities and sources said.
The assailant then continued attacking Sarquiz, kicking him in the head before robbing him, police said.
“He was hit in the head from behind and fell to the floor, and then was [repeatedly] kicked in the head and beaten, and his money and his jewelry were stolen,” his heartbroken youngest sister, Christina Sarquiz, told The Post on Tuesday.
The suspect ran off, heading south on 13th Avenue, cops said.
John, who suffered “serious injuries,” was rushed to NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, where his prognosis was “extremely grim” and he was taken off life support Monday.
“However, with the help of our parish priest, we were able to understand that the five days that we had him alive but unconscious were a gift from God,” his sister said through tears. “And we were grateful to have that time to be able to spend it with him and say our goodbyes.”
John was “especially dedicated to his mother,” and cared for her ever since his father passed away in 2014, Christina said.
In addition to Christina, he left behind two other sisters.
“We’re completely devastated,” she said. “We were absolutely shocked when we heard that something had happened to him.
“And I don’t think we’ve been out of shock since. My mother is strong, but extremely wounded by this.”
John was a fan of the New York Rangers and the Mets, and loved music — especially Pink Floyd, whose songs the family played during his bedside vigil at the hospital.
John lived in Dyker Heights and was “very well known in most of the establishments on 13th Avenue,” his sister said.
“He just had friends, you know, simple people who just hang out and play lotto,” she added.
Authorities are still looking for the suspect, who wore a gray sweatshirt, light blue jeans, a light blue cap and black and white sneakers at the time of the mugging, cops said.
The victim’s sister said she has been told that the suspect “is known in the neighborhood.”
“We’ve also learned that this person has a record and has been in and out of prison,” she said.
“And in our devastation, we’re deeply disappointed in why society lets recovering criminals out on the streets free to inflict more damage.”
She said she’s noticed a recent downturn in the notoriously safe neighborhood.
“We just see more and more people who seem to have mental issues and addiction in this neighborhood than ever before,” she said.
“There’s definitely a decline — like a marked decline in safety in this neighborhood.”
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