Mother to Son's Killers: ‘Burn in Hell’
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, June 19- For the first time, the mother of murder victim Jorge Arrango is speaking about her son and his brutal killing along E. Gun Hill Road, where the 20-year old, well liked young man grew up and was mortally wounded on May, 18.
Jeanette Febles, 55, the victim’s mother spoke exclusively to this
publication and offered insight into her life that has been turned
upside down, since the brutal beating and knife attack in which he was stabbed a reported 15-times in the chest, arms and legs-- all caught on surveillance video run by a local community watch program.
Currently undergoing cancer treatment, Febles must stand strong for Arrango's two brothers and six sisters, as they prepare to face life without Arrango, and an eventual trial when they must all come to face Ramon Sanchez and Luis Davis, who late last week were charged with murder.
After his death the grief-stricken mother returned to the Carib Restaurant at the corner of E. Gun Hill Road and Jerome Avenue, where she and her son would often have dinner after attending mass at St. Ann's Church on Bainbridge Avenue, searching for answers to this new puzzle she lives with every waking moment of her day.
Febles recalled the fateful night, saying, "He was with a friend of his, they came to my house and he said, "Mom, give me some money and I'll be right back," and he met with these people he met a month ago."
She continued, "One of the guys started arguing with my son," so she gave him the money.
Recalling the events leading up to her sons fatal confrontation,
Febles states, "You don't want to deal with it, they cut people, you don't know what there going to do. So the other guy pushed him and was antagonizing him, and then someone punched him."
Arrango knew little of life outside of the family apartment he shared with his brothers and sisters or the Norwood neighborhood where he was raised, with the exception of a recent and unexpected trip to Europe.
Now recalling her son, Febles says that Arrango attended public school at P.S. 94 across the street, but did not make it to high school as a severe case of asthma would sideline the youngster and he was forced to drop out of school. Later on he would get a high school equivalency diploma and get a certificate to become a home health aid.
"He didn't go to high school," Febles recalls, "most of his life he
was sick with asthma at home, so he flunked a lot of courses... a lot of times he flunked the grade because he was sick all the time."
Determined to give her son a proper burial, Febles says, "I made
arrangements, but I'm still collecting money," having recently visited Woodlawn Cemetery and was floored to learn that a modest sendoff to her beloved son would cost roughly $20,000. $7,000 for the funeral,$10,000 for the funeral home and $3,000 for the headstone.
She says, "I can't afford that, so I started collecting. I can't even
think, their doing it for me," referring to family members and
friends throughout the neighborhood, who continue to pay their
respects at the building where the memorial has been set up, that is quickly growing and turning into a shrine to Arrango.
Asked if the mother needs help, she replies, "Yes I do, it's too much and I can't afford that."
In more recent years, Febles says her son's health eventually improved to where he could take his General Equivalency Exam and pass the course to earn his home health aid attendant certificate, when he went to care for an elderly retired doctor in upper Manhattan.
Febles explains, "Unfortunately the patient died and he was very
effected by this, this was last year. The man left him some money, so he went to France, he visited Europe."
She continued, "When he came back he says, "Mom, I can't be a home health attendant anymore," he could not deal with the fact that the patients die. He got used to seeing the man everyday and enjoyed helping him."
On the day he died he had a job interview in Yonkers, where the young man expected to get a call back, as soon as the boss returned from vacation.
In the days since the stabbing, she agreed for doctors to remove
Arrango from life-support, Febles recalls, "His brothers and sisters are all crying. They come and see me and they go out to the card shop and they go out to the alley," where the make-shift memorial to the young man now stands.
The mother then paused and added, "and they don't know what to do with themselves."
The mom says her son was the, "center," of the family as, "he liked to party and get into every person's situation. He wanted to know what a person was doing or what they could do together."
Family members will miss the young man's casual singing in the apartment and his sketch's as Arrango also loved to draw.
A religious woman, Febles is asked if she could speak to her son's killers, what would she say, responding, "I don't like to be mean or bad but I just hope, and I know... I hope that they would burn in hell for eternity, that's all I can say."
Providing her health holds up, Febles expects to be in the courtroom with all of her daughters, but does not want the trial to, "sidetrack" her surviving children's own families, anymore than it has too.