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Suspect charged with attempted murder in Woodside shopkeeper’s attack

By Bill Parry

A Woodside shopkeeper, who was brutally beaten Saturday morning, is considered likely clinically brain dead with no expectation of surviving, according to a criminal complaint provided by the Queens district attorney’s office.

Victor Mendoza, 21, was arrested and charged Monday with attempted murder and other charges in the attack on 35-year-old Martin Quiej, a married father of two.

Quiej attempted to break up a verbal altercation outside his Tauros Party Supplies store on 54th Street between an employee and another man, around 1:45 a.m., according to the NYPD. Quiej was attacked by two suspects and beaten multiple times on the head with a metal rod, causing the victim to suffer severe damage to his skull and bleeding on his brain, according to the criminal complaint.

The metal rod was recovered and one suspect was arrested at the scene, but he was not charged, according to a police source. The second suspect, Mendoza, was apprehended by officers of the 108th Precinct later in the day Saturday.

Quiej was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was on life support but has no brain stem function, according to the criminal complaint.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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