Friday, September 28, 2001

Father escorts son home

Slain man had sent aid

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — The Covington resident man who died after being beaten with a baseball bat was helping to support his family in Mexico, sending them money earned from his job installing drywall in Northern Kentucky.

        Blas Carrasco's father traveled from his farm in the Mexican state of Chihuahua this week to claim his son's body.

[photo] Gilberto Carrasco (right) and a son, Luis, have come from Mexico to claim the body of Blas Carrasco,
(Patrick Reddy photo)
        Mr. Carrasco, 31, of West 34th Street, died Monday from injuries he received during the attack Sept. 10, according to Lt. Col. Jim Liles of Covington Police.

        “He was not just my son,” said Mr. Carrasco's father, Gilberto Carrasco. “He was my friend, my brother. I didn't want him to go, but he said, "Father, I need to work and help the family.'”

        A friend in Texas paid for the father to fly here from the farm where he grows jalapenos and alfalfa. The local Hispanic community is helping pay for Mr. Carrasco's body to be transported back to Mexico.

        The 69-year-old Gilberto Carrasco spoke through an interpreter Wednesday afternoon at the Hispanic Resource Center in Covington. The nonprofit group is helping the family make arrangements.

        A 16-year-old Erlanger boy is charged with murder in the beating death of Mr. Carrasco. Police have said three other juveniles, all female, are being investigated.

Blas Carrasco
Blas Carrasco
        Covington police said Mr. Carrasco was attacked inside the apartment he rented in Latonia. A girl who was dating one of Mr. Carrasco's roommates showed up unannounced to collect some of her belongings. The boy and two other girls accompanied her.

        Police have not released all the details, but Lt. Col. Liles said an argument ensued and Mr. Carrasco was hit with a bat in the ribs and head. Then he was punched and kicked while on the ground. No one else was home at the time.

        Lt. Col. Liles said charges of conspiracy to commit murder are pending against the three girls — all under age 18 — for their part in the attack. The accused are not being identified because they are juveniles.

        The lure of the United States was great for Mr. Carrasco, said his father. Local Mexican immigrants say they can make $10 per hour in Northern Kentucky, compared with $8 a day in Mexico.

        Immigrants also say the word in Mexican villages is that there is plenty of work available in Northern Kentucky.

        Mr. Carrasco said he received money from his son about every 15 to 20 days. The father said his son was not married, but had several children he was helping to support.

        Mr. Carrasco's family — including his ill mother, four brothers and three sisters — have gathered at the family's small farm waiting for the father to return with his son's body.

        Mr. Carrasco was in the country illegally, working under a false set of papers, but Gilberto Esparza of the Hispanic Resource Center said that doesn't matter.

        “This is a family man here caring for his family,” Mr. Esparza said. “He was a working man.”

        Mr. Carrasco recalled the friendly father-son arguments.

        “He would make me mad, then he would say, "You mad enough, Dad?' Then my son would come and hug me,” said Mr. Carrasco.

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