A family gathered for a memorial on Sunday (Oct. 3) to honor the life of their relative who was found unconscious on a Brooklyn rooftop. Investigators believe he was strangled by a suspect over a $40 debt.
EMS carried Solomon “Sol” Samuel’s lifeless body from the rooftop of the public housing building in the borough’s Brownville section on Friday (Oct. 1) night and rushed him to Brookdale University Hospital, The New York Daily News reported.
But it was too late. The 48-year-old appliance store worker died at the hospital.
On the following day, the police arrested Brooks Bailey, 44, and charged the homeless man with murder.
Samuel’s family, citing the city medical examiner’s autopsy, confirmed to the newspaper that he was strangled. His sister, Gold Samuel, said Bailey owed her brother $40 and the murder happened when he went to get the money.
The victim’s brother, Mark Samuel, did some investigating of his own after the authorities initially dismissed his brother’s death as a possible drug overdose.
Mark asked around and discovered that his brother and Bailey fought over money. He called police precincts with the information he gathered.
“The ambulance just wrote it off as a regular drugged person on a roof,” Mark said. “If I didn’t do all the footwork and everything it probably would have been left at that.”
Samuel’s family blamed his drug addiction for his decision to associate with the wrong people.
“My brother was a very nice guy, if you asked him for something he’d give it to you,” Gold said. “Even when my brother was on drugs, he would never ask me for money.”