An East Long Beach community is searching for answers after a 61-year-old man was found lying unresponsive in the street and stripped of his possessions Sunday morning, according to family and friends.
Jay McManus, 61, had spent the evening with friends at Avenue 3 Pizza before leaving the bar area around 10 p.m., but he never made it home. Friends said his body was discovered shortly before 5 a.m Sunday with trauma to his front and back of his head, neck and “scuffs and bruises all over his body.”
McManus was found lying in the street near Stearns Street and Carfax Avenue in the Los Altos South neighborhood around 4:45 a.m. on Aug. 15, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
He also appeared to have been robbed, said Rex Marshall, a longtime friend of the family, who said McManus’s body had been stripped of his clothing and his wallet, watch and other valuables were missing. He was a found about two-tenths of a mile from Avenue 3 Pizza.
Marshall remembers Jay as the kind of guy who would light up a room, who was super hilarious and generous.
“If that person would’ve asked Jay he would’ve given him his wallet, watch or whatever,” Marshall said. “That’s just the kind of guy he was.”
Marshall and other friends have been helping the family try to deal with logistics while they visit McManus in the hospital. Marshall has started a GoFundMe for the family to help pay for hospital bills.
McManus’s son, Jimmy, said his dad has been unresponsive since he was taken to the hospital early Sunday morning and there are concerns that if he does physically recover, his brain may have sustained irreversible damage that could leave him in a vegetative state.
Preliminary information provided by the department said officers were dispatched to the area to assist with a person down in the street, but a spokesperson said in an email that with the information provided by the Long Beach Fire Department personnel at the scene the officers could not determine if a crime had been committed.
Police said that the area was canvassed multiple times and the department is still in the process of collecting evidence and interviewing potential witnesses. However, due to the medical condition of McManus, they have been unable to determine how he was injured.
A police report wasn’t taken until Monday afternoon after Jimmy got police officers to come to the family home to take a police report.
Reports of an attack had been circulating on social media since earlier this week about a man who was attacked on his way home from a local pizza place at the intersection of Palos Verde Avenue and Stearns Street.
Residents and people who frequent the area say they are shocked and disturbed by what appears to be a senseless attack.
“I go to Avenue 3, but I’m not going to walk alone in my own neighborhood anymore,” said Ken Cinotto, who lives a few blocks north of where McManus was found and has made a similar walk to Avenue 3 in the past.
Cinotto said that he’s seen McManus before hanging out at Avenue 3 and he hopes that his neighbors are made aware of what happened so they can take extra safety precautions.
“I’m just so disturbed by this whole thing,” Cinotto said.
Michael Blasetti, a longtime neighbor of McManus who considered himself an “adopted son”, said, “The neighbors are disgusted. There’s fear and they’re disgusted with how this whole thing was handled.”
Blasetti said McManus had probably made that same walk 100 times and was very active, either walking or biking most places. He added that if McManus had been found earlier doctors have said that the prognosis might be a lot better, but the hours he laid undiscovered on the street lowered the chances of positive outcome.