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Dad Dies Protecting Daughter: ‘I’m Heartbroken’

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CHICAGO (CBS) — He was a boxer in his native Belize. But the father, who had a pacemaker, was no match for a man who punched him, costing him his life.

Michael Tingling, 59, died trying to protect his 15 year-old daughter.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot spoke to her about her father’s tragic death.

“I’m heartbroken, and I’m sad because I don’t have him with me no more,” said Masharah Tingling. “That was my last time seeing him, and I had to see him like that.”

Tingling’s father had just picked her up from school at Chicago Math and Science Academy, 7212 North Clark St. He took Masharah to get a doughnut.

After leaving a bakery, Joseph Firek brushed up against Masharah while she walked down the street with her father.

“My dad put me behind him and told the man to go away,” Masharah said.

“He threw the first punch and hit my dad in the chest. You see, my dad has a pacemaker.”

Tingling walked nearly a block to an auto shop, and then collapsed.

“This man, he’s following us,” Masharah said. “He’s screaming racial slurs, calling us n—— and telling us to go back to Africa, that he’s going to burn our house down and stuff like that.”

Tingling died at a hospital.

Now, Firek, who has a history of psychiatric illness, has been charged with first degree murder and a hate crime.

Prosecutors say the altercation led to stress on Tingling’s heart, causing him to die.

“It doesn’t feel real,” said Masharah. “It really doesn’t.”

Her father always wanted to make sure she could get the education needed to make her dream become a reality.

The victim’s family has set up a fund at Bank of America. The Tingling Family Fund has been set up for funeral expenses and his daughter’s education. Go to any branch to make a donation in person.

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