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Woodside shopkeeper dies from injuries in beating

By Bill Parry

A Woodside shopkeeper who was brutally beaten with a metal rod Saturday morning has died from his injuries, according to the NYPD.

Martin Quiej, a 34-year-old married father of two, died at Elmhurst Hospital Center Wednesday morning, four days after he tried to break up a verbal altercation outside his Tauros Party Supplies store on 54th Street near Roosevelt Avenue around 1:45 a.m. Saturday. He was attacked and beaten multiple times on the head with a metal rod, which caused severe damage to his skull and bleeding on his brain, the criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney’s office said. He had no brain stem function after the assault.

Victor Mendoza, a 21-year-old Woodside resident, was arrested Saturday and charged Monday with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the complaint. Upgraded charges were pending, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

The metal rod was recovered and one suspect was arrested at the scene, but he was not charged and released, according to a police source. However, the NYPD was searching for yet another suspect in the attack. He is described as a Hispanic man wearing jeans, black shoes and a gray jacket.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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

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