Jason O’Donnell, director of public safety, said two other teens have also already been arrested in relation to the assault. And Mayor Mark Smith indicated that the police may be seeking three other teens in connection with it.
Smith said all will be charged with riot and theft, since one or more of those involved in the attack allegedly went through the victim’s wallet after the victim was on the ground.
The attack occurred near West 14th Street and Broadway after Strucinski apparently went to the aid of a friend whom the teens were allegedly assaulting.
A 2007 graduate of Bayonne High School, Strucinski had just graduated from Rutgers with a degree in criminal justice – apparently with the intention of pursuing a career in law enforcement, perhaps with the FBI, friends said.
“He was an all-honors student in high school,” Elizabeth Vosk, a friend, said. “He was the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet.”
Smith dispelled reports that this was a gang-related incident.
“This was a crime of opportunity,” he said. “Something that had tragic results, but it was not related to a street gang nor did it have anything to do with race.”
The police said Strucinski had left a house party on West 15th street with two other friends to go to Quick Chek on Broadway near 14th Street. When they came out, they saw a friend being beaten by a group of people.
Witnesses say that things got confusing as Strucinski and his friends struggled to rescue their friend.
The police said Strucinski was admitted to Jersey City Medical Center as critical from head trauma, and was listed a few days later as critical, but stable.
While he was still in a coma as of Friday morning, Vosk said Strucinki’s condition had improved and that he was breathing better and moving parts of his body.
Friends of Strucinki have scheduled a fundraiser at the Old Polish Home on West 22 nd Street starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday.