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Queens man charged for fatally beating Brooklyn video game designer to death

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A Queens man was indicted for allegedly beating a Brooklyn video game designer to death, prosecutors announced Friday.

Damian Diaz, 29, of Ozone Park, was arraigned on charges of first-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, second-degree attempted assault, and related charges. Diaz had been previously indicted with a co-defendant for allegedly attacking the victim on a Williamsburg street corner.

Bail for Diaz was continued at $250,000 bond or $25,000 cash and he was ordered to return to court on April 21.

Diaz’s accomplice, 25-year-old Joshua Hernandez, of Bushwick, was arraigned on Jan. 30 and charged with first-degree manslaughter. Bail was continued at $20,000 and Hernandez was ordered to return to court March 12.

“The alleged violence this defendant and his accomplice inflicted claimed the life of a talented young man already making a name for himself in the business and video game communities,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “It is heartbreaking that such a senseless attack should deprive the victim, his family and friends from knowing his full potential. We will now seek to get justice for the victim and his loved ones.”

According to charges, at 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2019, Diaz and Hernandez allegedly approached 26-year-old Jose Zambrano at the intersection of Grand Street and Havermeyer Street in Williamsburg. One of the men allegedly asked Zambrano for a cigarette, and when he refused, Diaz allegedly grabbed him by the arm and began to hit him.

Diaz and Hernandez allegedly took turns hitting Zambrano in the head until he and an eye witness walked away. Diaz allegedly followed Zambrano and started to hit him again, causing Zambrano to fall to the ground. 

Zambrano then lost consciousness and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he ultimately died of his injuries four days later.

Hernandez was arrested within an hour of the assault after he was identified by the eye witness. Diaz was arrested on Jan. 23, 2020, after police reviewed video surveillance that allegedly captured his involvement in the assault.

If convicted, both Diaz and Hernandez face up to 25 years in prison.

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