A California groom was beaten to death at his wedding reception on Sunday morning, Dec. 15, after he and his family tried to get two wedding crashers to leave the party, police said.
Joe Melgoza, 30, suffered blunt force trauma to the head during the attack in Chino at around 2:20 a.m. and died after being taken to the hospital, KTLA reported.
His family said that the two uninvited men walked into the wedding reception Saturday night, Dec. 14, in the backyard of the bride’s sister’s home but were asked to leave.
However, they returned later that night. And Melgoza was beaten to death while he had tried to defend his family from the uninvited men, his brother, Andy Velasquez, told NBC News.
“Those cowards came back with bats,” Velasquez said. “They came and murdered my brother.”
“My brother did not deserve to die like that,” Velasquez said. “He was a good man; he was a solid man.”
The two suspects identified as Rony Aristides Castaneda Ramirez, 28, and his brother, Josue Daniel Castaneda Ramirez, 19. They were arrested Sunday afternoon and were both being held without bond, police said.
A GoFundMe campaign set up to raise money for Melgoza’s funeral describes him as a son, brother, cousin, partner, and father who leaves behind a daughter, 11-year-old Lilly.
“He always had a way to make you smile,” the page’s author wrote. “He was there for you at any time to give a helping hand. He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way.”
Chino Police are still investigating what may have led up to the fight.