Tombstone Secured for Homeless Man Beaten to Death on the Bowery Last Year
Earlier this month marked one year since four homeless men were murdered while asleep on the Bowery. Since the anniversary, a fundraising campaign to secure a tombstone for one of the victims was successful.
Chuen Kwok had fallen on hard times after the passing of his partner. He eventually found refuge living on the streets of Chinatown, and became a fixture outside the Chase bank at Doyers Street and the Bowery. Locals would occasionally donate dollars or dinner to buoy his spirits.
But on the night of October 5, 2019, a 24-year-old homeless man name Randy Santos attacked Kwok and three others with a three-foot piece of scrap metal while they slept. Police charged the attacker with four counts of murder, and one count of attempted murder, for which he pleaded not guilty.
Since Kwok was destitute and without family, Chinatown advocate Karlin Chan signed the paperwork necessary to claim his remains. The Celestial Love Foundation covered all funeral expenses at the time, except the cost of a grave marker. One year later, his organization, the Chinatown Freemasons Athletic Club, organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help.
The campaign ultimately raised $4,392, nearly half of which covered the tombstone; the other half, Chan confirms, will be donated to the Bowery Mission and the Celestial Love Foundation.