Suspects rob dead man in waiting room

Joaquin Rivera entered Aria Health’s Frankford Hospital Saturday night complaining of pain in his left arm. An hour and 15 minutes later, he was dead, and three men had stolen his watch.

According to reports, Rivera, 63 and an active leader of Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community, was told by the E.R. staff to wait for treatment, despite his heart attack-like symptoms. He sat down in the waiting room, and briefly spoke with three men who entered around 11 p.m. Rivera died minutes later, but his death went unnoticed by the staff during the 11 p.m. shift change.

It wasn’t until a witness saw Rivera slumped in his chair that a nurse pronounce him dead at midnight. But before the hospital staff could tend to Rivera, three men robbed the deceased school counselor of his watch. Surveillance video shows one of the suspects remove the watch from Rivera’s limp hand, then hand it to an accomplice before leaving.

This video from Action News shows the surveillance footage from the night of Rivera’s death.

Police have arrested 44-year-old Richard Alten, but the other two men remain at large. Northeast Detectives is investigating the case, while Aria Health reviews it staff members’ actions during the incident.

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