Tamale vendor dies a year after attack - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tamale vendor dies a year after attack


WEST PALM BEACH-He sold tamales to make extra cash for his family, but was attacked and robbed, and ended up in a coma.  Now a year later, Pablo Lopez has died.
"It's been very difficult," said Lopez' widow, Flora, describing the past year.  "I don't even want to talk about it," she said Friday.
Lopez' husband was selling tamales off Pinewood Avenue in West Palm Beach.  In surveillance video, he's seen pulling his box of tamales, followed by three men.  What we didn't see on the video, say police, is Mr. Lopez refusing to hand over money, and the men punching Lopez in the head, taking his wallet.
Lopez, 69 at the time of the attack, eventually came out of the coma and returned home before Thanksgiving, said Mrs. Lopez.  But family members say he didn't always know everyone.  And he went downhill again, before his death last week.
"He was a good man," saidLopez' 15-year old son.  "He always helped me, my mom, my brother.  Now he's gone."
Shortly after the attack, police arrested three men:  Michael McCatty, his brother Kevin, and Joshua Williams.  But earlier this year prosecutors dropped charges against Williams, and the McCatty brothers pleaded guilty to robbery only, each getting prison terms of two and a half years.
"That should not happen," said the son.  "They should go to jail more than just two years."
The family would like to send Mr. Lopez's body back to Guatemala for burial, but they just don't have the money.  In addition to two sons here locally, Lopez has nine more children in the States and Guatemala.

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