An 18-year-old Maryland man beat a man nearly to death in a park after thinking the man was gay, authorities said. Now, the suspect has been accused of a hate crime.
Around 5 a.m. June 22, James J. Braddock, 37, was found inside a park and his family told police he had gone out for his usual walk to the park around 6 or 7 p.m. on June 21. He did not return that night, according to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
On June 23, José Tobias Carranza Serrano, 18, was detained on a trespassing charge, one day after the beating of Braddock, police said.
Grewal stated Carranza Serrano wanted to kill Braddock because he thought the victim was gay. Court documents say Carranza Serrano admitted to the crime, as he thought he had killed Braddock.
When he was arrested, Carranza Serrano had blood all over himself and his clothing, authorities said.
Braddock suffered from multiple facial fractures, severe damage to his kidney and liver, as well as losing several teeth in the attack, police said. The victim was also robbed of $8 and his cell phone, officials said.
Braddock is being treated at Hackensack University Medical Center and was put into a medically induced coma, officials said.
In a statement from Grewal, he said, “This defendant is charged with attempting to kill a complete stranger because he thought the man was gay. The victim was beaten and choked so badly that he was unconscious for several hours before a passerby found him and called for help.”
Carranza Serrano was charged with attempted murder, bias intimidation, robbery and aggravated assault, officials said. He is being held at the Hudson County Detention Center.