Sarasota, Florida -- His ex-wife says all he wanted to do was to pay for his son to go to college and he worked hard as a manager at a Sarasota restaurant to do just that.
But detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office say Tain "Andrew" Tian was attacked while chasing down three customers who left his restaurant without paying their bill.
Tian was beaten on Sunday, July 14 after running out of the New Dynasty Chinese Buffet at 6131 South Tamiami Trail. Customers found the 51-year-old lying unconscious in the driveway of a business next door. He was rushed to the hospital and was in a coma for days before he died on Friday, July 19 due to his injuries.
Monday evening there were lots of heartfelt hugs and tears from customers and workers alike at the restaurant as they tried to come to grips with why anyone want to beat the father to death.
Yang Lu's family owns the restaurant. He's heartbroken and only wishes he'd been at work that night.
"I wish. I really wish...for $30 -- just let them go --but like I say he's a very responsible guy. That's his responsibility -- he have to do it."
Tian's ex-wife Jinlin Guo didn't want to show her face out of fear since the suspects who attacked her ex-husband haven't been captured. She says Tian was an educated man, a hard worker, who loved his job. She says he loved interacting with customers while earning an honest living to support his son who's away at college.
"He sacrificed everything for everybody -- to take care of everybody but himself."
Customers like Barbara and George Cislo are stunned. Barbara says, "It was really upsetting -- very upsetting because we know him well. We know these people we've come here for a long time -- a lot of years."
There's now a $6,000 reward on the table for information leading to the arrest of the three Hispanic males who may have been seen running from the restaurant around 9:40 at night.
Investigators say the men stand between 5'8" and 6 feet tall and weigh 210 to 250 pounds. One has a pierced lip and eyebrow another a rosary tattoo on his wrist and hand.
"Andrew never expected that this was going to happen to him. He probably thought he was going to catch up with those guys and they'll pay and then everything will be fine. It's just sad," Lu says.
Despite the sadness friends plan to celebrate Tian's life at a service in Sarasota on Sunday. It will take place on Sunday, July 28 at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ located at 1031 S. Euclid Avenue in Sarasota.
Meanwhile, an education fund is being set up to help his son complete his graduate studies at the University of Florida even though they realize his father will never get the chance now to see his son graduate.
If you know anything about the three suspects that could lead to an arrest you could earn $6,000 in cash. You do not have to reveal your identity. Just call Crime Stoppers at 941 366-8477 (TIPS).
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