Musician Robbed While Dying in Hospital Waiting Room

Shepherd-Pit Bull Terrier mix Clover
Delco SPCA

A popular high school counselor and local musician was robbed as he was dying in the waiting room of a Frankford hospital.

"Oh, my God, I have so many mixed feelings about all of this," Joaquin Rivera's son told the Philadelphia Daily News.

"I don't know how something like this could happen to him."

Joaquin Rivera, 63, walked himself into Aria Health's Frankford Campus Saturday just before 11 p.m. because had pain in his arm and abdomen.

Over the next hour, as Rivera sat in the hospital waiting room, he passed out. That's when three other people -- two men and a woman – took his watch, according to Philly police.

Somebody jumped up to alert security and hospital staffers hurried over to help Rivera, but they were not able to save him.

"The people who robbed my father, why would they do that to a man?" Rivera, Jr., told the paper. One of the suspects was caught; the other two fled.

The family believes Rivera, a counselor at Olney high school, died of a heart attack and they want to know why he had to wait for treatment.

"My father went there complaining about chest pains…They made him wait for over an hour," Rivera's son said.

The hospital said it can't comment during investigations.

Rivera was a "tremendous advocate for sustaining Puerto Rican folk arts here," according to the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

He recently wrote and recorded a song, "Philadelphia, I Choose to Stay Here," about the fight in his neighborhood by people who are trying to keep the city from taking their homes for urban "removal."

Copyright PHILY - Philly.com
Contact Us