Exactly 40 days after Kutin Gyimah, 52, was brutally beaten to death, his relatives gathered to say their final farewells at his funeral on Friday evening.
“He was all we had and we lost our hero,” Gyimah’s wife Abigail Barwuah-Kutin said.
She still finds it hard to believe that her husband of 10 years is gone.
“It was very difficult,” Barwuah-Kutin said. “Especially with children. They keep asking me so many questions that I don’t have answers to.
Gyimah’s life was cut short on August 12 when police said he was attacked after a group of five passengers in his taxi tried to rob the taxi driver and refused to pay.
Officers found Gyimah lying on the road with head trauma near Beach 54th Street and Arverne Boulevard in Edgemere just before 6.30am.
Police said Gyimah – who immigrated to the United States from Ghana more than a decade ago – was chased by the group and beaten by one or more suspects, causing him to fall to the ground, hit his head and lose consciousness before being taken to hospital and pronounced dead.
His friend of over 20 years, Daniel Obeng, believes the suspects were Gyimah’s first passengers of the day.
“We are not supposed to behave like this. We must value human life,” Obeng said. “For you to take someone’s life, leaving behind four beautiful children, the eldest being eight years old.”
Obeng said Gyimah and her family celebrated her 8-year-old daughter’s birthday the day before she died.
“He raises his children to the best of his abilities,” Obeng said. “He wanted to give his children the best education. And he wanted his children to really have an impact on the community.
The message at the funeral – held at the United Methodist Church of Ghana in the Bronx – was a mixture of sadness, anger, reflection and grace.
“A message of hope, a message of encouragement,” said Rev. Dr. Samuel A. Arhin. “A message to move on, even in the midst of grief.”
The police arrested the five suspects in this case.
Amos Austin, 20, of Queens, faces charges of manslaughter, gang assault and robbery. Nickolas Porter, 20, of Queens, along with a 13- and 15-year-old girl, all face charges of assault and robbery. A 16-year-old girl has been charged with failing to pay for her fare.
The victim’s wife has a message for them.
“I forgive them, and they really should give their lives to God,” Barwuah-Kutin said. “They really took a lot from me.”
The owner of the company Gyimah worked for covered funeral expenses and started a fundraiser for his family, which raised more than $100,000.