NEW BRUNSWICK—A 17-year-old Edison male was adjudicated delinquent Thursday for punching a township man in a bias-related incident, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced.
Superior Court Judge Roger W. Daley ruled the 17-year-old, referred to in court documents as M.K., was delinquent in the third degree aggravated assault and second degree bias intimidation of the victim, a 19-year-old Edison man.
Following a closed, one-day trial at the Family Courthouse in New Brunswick on Jan. 20, the judge ruled that the assault was a bias-related incident that was initiated because of the man’s religion.
The judge placed the juvenile on probation for one year and ordered him to repay the man $630 to compensate him for medical co-payments, broken eye glasses and the cost of cleaning the religious garb he was wearing when he was punched and knocked to the ground.
In addition, the judge ordered the juvenile to write a 500-word essay on the effects of anti-Semitism.
During the trial, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Ralph Cretella presented evidence and testimony showing that the defendant, who was 16 years old at the time of the attack on Sept. 19, 2009, punched the man because of his religious beliefs.
The juvenile initially was arrested and charged after the township man, who is Jewish, told police he was punched at 7:25 p.m. while walking on Woodbridge Avenue, near Route 1.
The Edison Police Department subsequently filed a bias incident report with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, in accordance with state guidelines.
The defendant initially was charged with juvenile delinquency in the aggravated assault of the 19-year-old man, and the bias intimidation count was filed Oct. 2, 2009, following an investigation by Sgt. John Rodriguez of the prosecutor’s Bias Crimes Unit.
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