By Gina Martinez
The Flushing community came together in remembrance of Vincent Tse one year after his death.
Tse, 68, died last July after being involved in a minor fender bender in Flushing. An assault followed that ultimately led to his death.
City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) hosted a candlelight vigil last Friday, alongside friends and family of Tse, to honor his service to the Flushing community. Tse volunteered for seven years as a cook at the SelfHelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center, and according to the center, never took a day off. The candlelight vigil and prayer service was led by Tse’s pastor at the Boon Church in Flushing.
Koo said Tse was a family man, a beloved community advocate and a man of faith.
“To this day, the absence of Vincent in the halls of Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center is apparent to his friends, who had become so accustomed to his friendship,” Koo said. “Likewise, his family continues to mourn his loss, and we gather this evening, one year after his death, to remember the man who brought so much joy to our community through his compassion and love.”
According to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney’s office, video surveillance shows Tse’s accusedattacker, Cleamon Anderson approaching Tse and striking him in the head, causing him to fall to the ground. When police arrived on the scene, they found Tse on the ground bleeding from the mouth, unable to communicate and with a swollen eye, according to prosecutors. Tse sustained a fractured skull, frontal and temporal contusions, as well as swelling and bleeding from the brain, prosecutors said.
Anderson admitted to prosecutors that he was involved in a collision with Tse’s car, the complaint said. He claimed Tse grabbed his sister’s arm and when she pulled away and Anderson approached Tse, he “made a fake maneuver” and fell to the ground on his own, according to the complaint. To date, Anderson has only been charged with felony assault.
Anderson’s sister, who was at the scene of the attack, is an NYPD school safety agent. She corroborated Anderson’s story, leading Tse’s family to ask prosecutors to hold her accountable for trying to cover up the attack and lying to investigators.
According to Koo, Anderson is looking to arrange a plea deal, but his arraignmenthas been postponed to an unknown date.
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) said the community continues to mourn Tse and remembers his contributions to the Rosenthal Selfhelp Senior Center.
“Vincent was a peaceful man who worked hard preparing and serving food, and thoroughly enjoyed serving others,” she said. “He did not deserve the brutal attack that put him in a coma, and ultimately ended his life. Our hearts continue to go out to Vincent’s family and friends and they remain in our thoughts and prayers. We must continue to stand in solidarity against this type of heinous violence, and ensure that justice is served against those who commit these violent acts.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart