A teen was unprovoked when he attacked a man who was crossing a street in Paterson on December 7, 2015. The teen threw one punch knocking out the unsuspecting man while a second teen recorded what would eventually become a viral video of the attack. The video of the knockout was shared on Twitter and Facebook prompting an aggressive investigation by the Paterson Police Department into the incident. The teen in the video sucker punched the victim, a 37-year-old, 5-foot-2, 125 pound man who would lose a tooth and required stitches to his head after the incident. The victim continues to suffer from neck and back pain as well. The two teens left the victim lying in the street unconscious at the time of the assault. The teen viewed in the video hitting the victim now faces aggravated assault and endangering an injured victim charges. The prosecutor in the case is looking to upgrade the charges pending to adult court rather than leaving it as a juvenile matter. The teen in question had turned 18 a few days after the attack and has plead not guilty to the pending charges. The 16 year old who recorded the video turned themselves in and has plead not guilty to the same charges.
Aggravated Assault Charges (N.J.S.A 2C:12-1b)
The teens in question have been charged with aggravated assault because they “recklessly causes bodily injury” to the victim. If he had been in a fist fight with a person whom he voluntarily entered into he would have been charged with a simple assault which is a much lesser crime and is a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense. Aggravated assault (N.J.S.A 2C:12-1b) cases in New Jersey are a felony charge with a much more server punishment than that of a simple assault. Assailants can be charged as either a second, third or fourth degree crime. In New Jersey the penalties for an aggravated assault range from fines, probation, restitution too a prison sentence of 18 months to 10 years depending on the degree which you are charged. Even after you have been released from jail and finished probation you still face the stigma of having a criminal conviction which could inhibit your ability to find employment and housing.
Fourth degree aggravated assault
2C:12-1(b)(3) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon
Third degree aggravated assault
2C:12-1(b)(2) Attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
2C:12-1(b)(7) Attempts to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury
Second degree aggravated assault
2C:12-1(b)(1) Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury
2C:12-1(b)(6) Causes bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 or while operating a motor vehicle in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:20-10.
Endangering An Injured Victim (2C:12-1.2)
The charge of Endangering An Injured Victim (2C:12-1.2) against the teen assailants stems from the walking away from an unconscious victim without regards to his physical state. The teens failed to provide the necessary care to the victim who helplessly laid in the street after the knockout. This is a crime of the third degree and carries a penalty of 3-5 years in prison and up to $15,000 in potential fines, penalties and/or probation. In most assault cases this charge is in addition to the aggravated assault charge.
2C:12-1.2. Endangering an injured victim (third degree)
a. A person is guilty of endangering an injured victim if he causes bodily injury to any person or solicits, aids, encourages, or attempts or agrees to aid another, who causes bodily injury to any person, and leaves the scene of the injury knowing or reasonably believing that the injured person is physically helpless, mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to care for himself.
Do You Need A Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you or a family member is accused of aggravated assault it's important to hire a qualified defense attorney. This is a serious felony which could have a long lasting effect on your life. Call the Defense Lawyers at Villani & DeLuca at 732-709-7757 today to discuss your pending case.