Community rallies after Sarasota restaurant manager's death - WFLA News Channel 8

Community rallies after Sarasota restaurant manager's death

Posted: Updated:
Juan De Dios Rodriguez after his arrest. He's charged with manslaughter in Tian's death. Juan De Dios Rodriguez after his arrest. He's charged with manslaughter in Tian's death.
Andrew Tian Andrew Tian
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

It's been more than a month since a Sarasota restaurant manager died after he was beaten in front of his own business.

Along with the grief comes a long list of bills for Andrew Tian's family, but the community is helping out.   

Tian gave up a high-level job in China to move to Florida, work at the New Dynasty Chinese restaurant, and give his son a better life.

"When Andrew left China, he knew he was leaving behind all his degrees, all his awards, all his status," said Marylou Anderson, Tian's girlfriend.  "And he knew when he came to the United States he would lose that, and he made a conscious decision."

Tian's job as a restaurant manager opened up a world of opportunities for his family.  One night in July, it put him in serious danger.

Sarasota County deputies say Juan De Dios Rodriguez, 20, skipped out on a bill.  When Tian chased after him, deputies say Rodriguez punched him and ran away.

Tian later died.  Rodriguez is charged with manslaughter.

Anderson said, "There were 550 people at [Tian's] service. 550 people, in a tiny little church," said Anderson.  "If you knew Andrew and knew how wonderful he was, no it's not a surprise. It's humbling."

Now, Anderson is trying to step up for Tian's son, Alex.

He's a grad student at UF and tuition bills are adding up.  Area restaurants have already donated thousands of dollars to help pay for tuition, and other family expenses.

Random strangers are pitching in as well.

"I've got 50 cents from a five year old girl, it was her allowance," said Anderson. "50 cents!"

So many people have expressed interest in helping out that Anderson has now set up a trust fund.  In all, around $10,000 have already been collected.

If you'd like to help, contributions can be made to:

The Andrew Tian Memorial Trust

P.O. Box 21465

Sarasota, FL 34231

  • NewsMore>>

  • At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

    At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:22:02 GMT
    Russia's foreign ministry on Saturday promised it would offer strong assistance to Ukraine to overcome its crisis, but emphasized that the ultimate responsibility for reducing tensions lies with Ukrainians...
    Pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine on Saturday prepared to celebrate Orthodox Easter at barricades outside government offices seized in nearly a dozen cities, despite an international agreement to disarm and free the...
  • Everest avalanche a reminder of risks Sherpas face

    Everest avalanche a reminder of risks Sherpas face

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:16 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:16:19 GMT
    The rescuers moved quickly, just minutes after the first block of ice tore loose from Mount Everest and started an avalanche that roared down the mountain, ripping through teams of guides hauling gear.
    The rescuers moved quickly, just minutes after the first block of ice tore loose from Mount Everest and started an avalanche that roared down the mountain, ripping through teams of guides hauling gear.
  • Manatee veterinarian arrested in Napier Family Farm case

    Manatee veterinarian arrested in Napier Family Farm case

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:13:15 GMT
    Authorities began their investigation in February. Authorities began their investigation in February.
    Authorities in Manatee County have made a third arrest in connection with an on-going animal cruelty investigation at the Napier Family Farm and Rescue on State Road 64 near Bradenton.Dr. Edward E. Dunham, 76, was taken into custody Saturday morning at his home in Palmetto. He was booked into the Manatee County Jail on one count of animal torture with intent. His bond was sent at $1,500.Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts http://8.wfla.com/18DCEqk
    Authorities in Manatee County have made a third arrest in connection with an on-going animal cruelty investigation at the Napier Family Farm and Rescue on State Road 64 near Bradenton.Dr. Edward E. Dunham, 76, was taken into custody Saturday morning at his home in Palmetto. He was booked into the Manatee County Jail on one count of animal torture with intent. His bond was sent at $1,500.Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts http://8.wfla.com/18DCEqk
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.