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Pals mourn ex-con turned nonprofit caseworker in NYC

Pals of the person not too long ago overwhelmed to loss of life by a crew of ATV and dust bike riders imagine he would have forgiven the very individuals who killed him in Harlem — and certain would have tried to assist them mend their methods — had he recovered.

Arthur Cooke, an ex-con turned case supervisor for folks in hassle with the legislation, succumbed to his wounds final Friday.

“He may be the one which helped them out of the state of affairs, even within the state of affairs that they did that to him,” his son’s mom, Tamura “Tammy” Locascio, informed the Day by day Information on Thursday. “That’s how a lot devoted he was to his job and to serving to the neighborhood.

“He most likely would have sat there and tried to get even much less time for them or one thing.”

As a case supervisor and courtroom advocate with the nonprofit Exodus Transitional Group’s Alternate options To Incarceration, Cooke used to decorate up for courtroom appearances, advocating for others in methods he by no means advocated for himself.

“I took a plea deal, and he simply got here to courtroom with me to clarify to the DA and the judges why I deserve a second likelihood,” Jason Fields, an Alternate options To Incarceration consumer, informed The Information. “They had been simply blown away by it. I’m simply remembering the go well with he was carrying and what he stated.”

Fields, 28, was reflecting on the lifetime of his pal and mentor per week after Cooke died from injuries he suffered when a mob of ATV and dust bike riders attacked him on a Harlem road on Nov. 4.

Cooke, 45, was on his means dwelling from a date together with his girlfriend when a conflict with one of many riders led to a vicious beatdown that left him in a coma for 2 weeks earlier than he died.

After the assault, at E. a hundred and twenty fifth St. close to Madison Ave., a close-by homeless man jumped contained in the sufferer’s grey Mercedes-Benz and sped off, police stated.

Cooke was left hospitalized for extreme accidents to his neck and backbone. The stolen automotive was later recovered on Randalls Island, however neither the attackers nor the automotive thief have been arrested.

Household held onto hope he would pull by way of after he confirmed indicators of enchancment, however docs warned them to not overlook he was brain-dead.

“He was responding,” stated Locascio, 45. “However the docs assume that that was simply reflexes as a result of he was brain-dead.”

Cooke was simply 4 blocks from his Harlem dwelling when attacked, and his loss of life was dominated a murder, in keeping with police.

“Simply a number of ache,” Locascio stated of his loss of life. “And I used to be actually hurting. I used to be simply praying that he’d get up and get up and doing and say every part’s all proper.”

Cooke died from injuries he suffered when a mob of ATV and dirt bike riders attacked him on a Harlem street on Nov. 4.

Cooke’s pal, Raphael Jefferson, stated the sufferer touched a number of lives and made a real distinction in the neighborhood.

“In case you are a part of the issue and somebody lastly gave you the chance and says ‘in case you don’t like this, I’m going to offer you an opportunity to do the correct factor.’” Jefferson stated. “It’s like somebody lastly wiped your slate clear and at last gave you an opportunity to do the correct factor and actually be who you might be. That’s what Exodus offers us.

“We come right here and we’re all castrated from society as being these criminals and issues, after which we learn to harness our powers and do higher. And that’s precisely who he was.”

Jefferson stated Cooke, who served 4 years in jail after convictions for assault, theft and arson in Queens, was dedicated to turning his life round and serving to others do the identical.

“That man was suited down Monday by way of Friday,” Jefferson stated. “He at all times used to say, ‘On my solution to courtroom. On my solution to courtroom.’ And he would chuckle. As a result of he used to say that in his previous life as a result of he needed to go struggle for his personal self. However now he was on his solution to go struggle for another person. He was virtually a guardian for these guys. He labored rather a lot.”

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As devoted as he was to his Exodus purchasers, he was much more dedicated to his 6-year-old son, pals stated.

Arthur Cooke with his son, MJ.

“He would inform me on a regular basis ‘I’m in love with our son,’” Locascio stated. “I’d say, ‘I perceive that.’ And he’d say, ‘No, you gotta perceive, I’m in love with this little boy.’”

Fields stated Cooke gave him hope.

“He shared one thing in group one morning when me and another person had been speaking about ending our lives,” Fields stated. “He stated in his time in jail, he at all times thought of giving up. However ‘there’s extra to life.’ And it took my thoughts off these suicidal ideas. Arthur made positive that I knew that there was a light-weight on the finish of the tunnel.

“He was actually within the streets at one level, after which he made an entire 180 flip. It confirmed me what a person must be.”

Locascio stated she was doing her greatest to get by way of Thanksgiving and the vacation season, when Cooke would costume up because the Grinch and entertain their son.

“It’s very attempting for me to get by way of today,” she stated.

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