A local, well-known homeless man was found dead this morning just steps from the Bayside LIRR station.
William Bateman was found dead by pedestrians at approximately 7 a.m. sitting on a bench on 41st Avenue in Bayside shaded by trees, a place locals often saw him.
“He would sit there every day,” said Ahmed Iftikhar, owner of S&W coffee shop outside the LIRR station. “Sometimes he would stop by the shop, but mostly he stayed on the benches.”
Iftikhar saw Bateman when he came into work at 5 a.m. Customers rushed over to him at about 7 a.m. saying that Bateman wasn’t breathing, prompting Iftikhar to dial 9-1-1.
Passers-by stopped by the benches in the park on 41st Avenue to ask if it was the well-known Bateman who had died.
“He always sat there,” said Frank Collins, a local who sometimes chatted with Bateman. “He was a nice guy.”
Collins said Bateman planned on moving to Alabama to live with his sister after Labor Day.