A 60-year-old man, who became a well-known fixture of Southeast Baltimore, died Monday from his injuries sustained when he was grabbed and thrown to the ground during an unarmed robbery Saturday in Canton, according to Baltimore Police.
Father Dennis Grumsey of St. Casimir Church identified the victim as Victor Malabayabas, a longtime parishioner.
“He was a very dedicated and loving husband and father,” Grumsey said.
He said he heard of Malabayabas’ death from his wife, and met with the family at the hospital.
Police said the victim died at a hospital after his condition “turned serious.”
Southeast District patrol officers were called about 5:40 p.m. Saturday to the 600 block of South Kenwood Avenue for a report of an unarmed robbery.
The state medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide on Tuesday.
Witnesses told police that an unidentified man approached the victim and asked for a tissue, according to police. The man then allegedly attacked the 60-year-old when the victim offered the tissue.
“(He) grabbed the victim by the shirt and pushed him against a vehicle and then to the ground,” police said in a statement. “The suspect then removed the victim’s wallet before fleeing the location.
Malabayabas moved to the United States in 1996 from the Philippines, where he served as pilot for the Navy, according to a Catholic Review article. He moved to New York City where he struggled to find work until landing a job as a temp at Morgan Stanley, an investment management firm. He later passed an exam on brokerage operations, and continued to work for the company.
Malabayabas met his wife and they moved Baltimore, where he has become well known in the Southeast Baltimore community. The Catholic Review article detailed his volunteer work for Friends of Patterson Park, where he had helped pick up trash and did other work, including weeding.
“I love having the park in my backyard,” Malabayabas told the Catholic Review. “If we all come together, we can make it beautiful for future generations.”
Grumsey said that Malabayabas regularly volunteered for different duties at the church, and served as a greeter at weekend mass. He started a vegetable garden and brought the produce, including peppers, basil, and other items, to the church for others.
He also was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
A funeral service has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at St. Casimir Church, 2800 O’Donnell St.
Anyone with information on the killing is asked to call 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.
Baltimore Sun reporter Cassidy Jensen contributed to this story.