William Smith, 45, is facing charges of murder, robbery, and three counts of assault.
On Friday night, Yong Zheng, 46, was celebrating the lantern festival with some friends in Sunset Park, when they saw an Asian man being viciously attacked and robbed. With anti-Asian violence spiking across the country, Zheng did not hesitate to help.
By the end of the vicious fight, blood was shed and four men were stabbed – one of them fatally…that was Zheng, the Good Samaritan.
Jin Zhao, 39, Zheng’s widow, said she still can’t process the horrific nightmare.
“He heard a robbery – he didn’t know what was going on. He saw a crime, he tried to stop it,” Zhao said.
Zheng was a bus driver in Chinatown. He had two children, a 14-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old boy. Father and son share the same birthday in April, and always had a double celebration, now they will never get the chance to do that again.
“They need to be punished – not my godbrother. He’s a good person,” said Zheng’s god sister Xiu Lin.
The Fukian community is now raising funds for the family. The wife stayed at home with the children while her husband drove a bus. Now they are left with no income, and a collective, shattered heart.
Smith has four prior arrests. At least one was for weapons possession. Smith was arrested for murder in 1996, but the disposition of the case is not known.
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