Edgar Moncayo, 70, is seen standing outside his Corona house Sunday afternoon, talking with his wife on the phone and trying to gain access to the building when his tenant, 22-year-old Alex Garces, opens front door.
Moments later, Garces’ upper body appears in the video frame as he forcefully leans out the door and shoves the elderly man off the stoop — sending Moncayo flying backwards and smashing onto the pavement at the foot of the entry steps
Moncayo, whose head slammed into the sidewalk, suffered a traumatic brain injury. Medics took him to Elmhurst Hospital, where he died, authorities said.
Garces paid $400 rent to move into a room in Moncayo’s two-story house on 102nd St. and Northern Blvd. about a month ago, Moncayo’s grandson told The News.
“The first month he paid, and then he was trying to disappear,” said grandson Andy Jativa. “My grandfather said, ‘I’m even dropping the price for you. I’m not a bad person.’ …. He was gonna drop the month’s rent to $200.”
The rent ruckus led to an ongoing argument and Garces agreed to move out, police sources said.
“My grandfather was trying to get some of the money he was owed. He wasn’t trying to get rough with him. He was just trying to get paid,” Jativa said. “What is $200? You can borrow that money.”
Montayo, who has three adult daughters and seven grandchildren, has lived in the humble Corona house for more than 25 years, his grandson said. He worked two jobs parking cars, seven days a week, to help make ends meet.
“He was a great man. We were all in the hospital showing him the love and respect he deserved,” Jatvia said.
He had simple rules for his male boarders, his grandson said: No women and no children.
Garces broke both of his rules, inviting his girlfriend to stay over, sometimes with a crying, unattended baby, Jativa said.
On Sunday afternoon, Garces and his brother allegedly used a drill to force open the door and enter the Corona house without permission to get his belongings, Jativa said.
Moncayo showed up to get them to leave — and that’s when he and Garces had their fatal encounter, cops said.
After Moncayo hit the pavement, Garces is seen exiting the house with another young man.
One of them checks the motionless Moncayo for a pulse and then — apparently realizing the severity of the situation — reaches for his phone.
Garces stayed at the scene and initially told cops that Moncayo fell accidentally while he was helping the younger man move, sources said.
But when the landlord’s family reviewed footage from his doorbell camera, the video told a different story.
“He was shoved, twice. One shove, then another. That’s what put him down on the sidewalk,” Jativa charged.
Garces’ family insisted Tuesday night the shove was an accident, and that Moncayo let him in at first, then scuffled with him as they were moving out his bed.
“When Alex opened the door, he jumped on top of him. Alex tried to ignore him while he got the stuff,” said Garces’ brother-in-law Christhian Guapi, 22, who accompanied him.
Guapi said Garces and Moncayo struggled two separate times before the fatal push.
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“He jumped on Alex one more time. They started pushing one another. One final push and the guy fell,” Moncayo said.
Garces’ mother, Delia Velastegui, 50, wailed when she learned Moncayo had died.
“Oh my God! It was an accident!” she said. “My son is a good son. He is not a fighter.”
Police arrested Garces Monday, taking him into custody at a home on 32nd Ave. where he went after the incident, sources said.
Police charged Garces with manslaughter, though the Queens district attorney’s office has yet to formally charge him, police sources said.
“We’re devastated,” Jativa said. “It’s almost like a dream. No, it’s a nightmare.”