An NYU lab technician forgot his wallet in his apartment — and paid for it with his life when an ex-con neighbor yanked him from an elevator and beat him to death, cops said.
Bakary Darboe, 46, was riding the lift in his Bronx building — after returning home to grab his billfold — when he fell victim to the “completely unprovoked” attack, police said.
“To do this to Bakary, to just kill him like that, we cannot forget,” said the victim’s brother Mbemba Darboe, 61. “We can forgive, but we cannot forget.”
Relatives said the father of six was on his way to Mercy College, where he was taking classes, when he realized he forgot his wallet and returned home to grab it just before 5 p.m. Thursday.
Darboe jumped back into the elevator after leaving his ninth-floor apartment. Now carrying his wallet, Darboe made it to the seventh floor of the building on E. 156th St. in Melrose when the elevator doors opened.
A deranged 40-year-old parolee — identified as Junal Jordan — had been shadowboxing in the hallway, sources said. As soon as the elevator doors opened, Jordan launched into a ferocious attack, sources said.
“The guy is shadowboxing in the hallway,” a police source said. “The elevators open up and he pulls the guy out of the elevator and beats him.”
A security camera captured Jordan dragging Darboe out into the hallway and then pummeling the older man, sources said.
“Please get off me … I can’t breathe!” Darboe screamed at one point, sources said.
The video shows Darboe managing to get back to his feet. He started to stagger away — but the suspect then delivered several blows to the bloodied victim’s head until he collapsed.
Darboe was found dead at the scene in a pool of blood, sources said.
One of his knocked-out teeth was found nearby, along with a bloody backpack, two cell phones and a set of keys. Spots of blood stained the hallway walls.
Cops found Jordan a few blocks away and took him into custody.
The suspect, who had blood on his hands and clothing, admitted to getting into a fight “in his girlfriend’s building.” But he wouldn’t say anything else, police sources said.
Jordan, a career criminal with a long rap sheet, was later charged with murder and manslaughter, police said.
The accused killer has been arrested 20 times since 1993 for many crimes including assault, robbery, reckless endangerment and drug possession, cops said.
He was sentenced to nine years in prison following a 1999 conviction for attempted criminal sale of a control substance.
Jordan was released in 2005 and put on parole until 2008, but he couldn’t stay out of trouble.
He was arrested in 2006 after being charged in a series of robberies in Manhattan. Jordan was sentenced to eight years in prison — and walked free in 2014. He was placed on parole until 2019, cops said.
On Friday afternoon, some 30 Darboe relatives were gathered at the family home mourning the Gambian immigrant who arrived in the United States 12 years ago.
In addition to his job and studies, Darboe was an active member of his mosque and the secretary general of the Gambian Islamic Society, relatives said.
“Every time he came home late he would help me with my homework,” said his 8-year-old daughter Jakong.
“He was very busy but he always had time.”
Mustafa Darboe, 14, sat quietly in the corner on a computer, holding back tears as his sister talked.
“He was just a good guy,” he said of his father.
Brother-in-law Demba Sanyang described Darboe as a “highly educated person” who was heavily involved in the Muslim community.
“We are deeply sad,” Sanyang, 58, said
The doomed man’s neighbors were stunned.
“(I) knew him from dropping our kids at the school bus stop,” neighbor Bademba Diallo, 48, said. “He was a very nice man, always great.”
“It’s very heartbreaking,” he said. “I’m shocked about what happened.”
WITH ROSS KEITH