Suspect in New Jersey Sucker Punch Video Turns Himself In - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Suspect in New Jersey Sucker Punch Video Turns Himself In

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    Suspect in NJ Sucker Punch Video Turns Himself In

    A teen who was caught on camera sucker-punching a man on a New Jersey street corner turned himself in Tuesday. Lori Bordonaro reports. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016)

    A teen who was caught on camera sucker-punching a man on a New Jersey street corner turned himself in Tuesday.

    Attorney Harley Breite said his client, 18-year-old Kristian Gonzalez, surrendered just before noon in Paterson. He was wanted in connection with a Dec. 7 attack that was caught on camera and posted to Facebook. 

    The suspect, who was 17 when the video was shot, faces aggravated assault and endangerment charges, authorities said. The teen who shot the video, 16, also turned himself into police in connection with the incident.

    Footage posted to Facebook was later deleted. Video shows the suspect approaching a man at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Van Houten Street. A girl can be heard off-camera shouting, "No, don't hit him!"

    The suspect then leans down to talk to the much shorter man. He looks at the person holding the camera and says, "Knock him out, homie? Just knock him out?"

    The teenage cameraman laughs and replies, "Knock him out! Knock him out!" The suspect then winds up and punches the man in the face.

    The victim collapses, hititng his head on the roadway as the suspect walks out of the camera frame. The teen holding the camera can be heard laughing.

    It's not clear how badly the man was injured in the attack.

    Breite said that his client takes medication for schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder and that people shouldn't be too quick to judge Gonzalez.

    Friends, meanwhile, told NBC 4 New York that Gonzalez was defending himself. 

    "He wasn't a bad kid, can't blame him," said Dayshanay Butler. "Someone hit him first and he hit him back. 

    Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale said that there was no excuse for the violence.

    "If you decide to wake up one morning and come here to the city of Paterson and punch someone in the face...rest assured we will pull out all the stops to hunt you down and bring you to justice," he said.