After deadly attack by pack of teens, NJ town steps up patrols
GUTTENBERG — A week after a man was beat to death by at least two teens on the street, police are stepping up their foot and bicycle patrols.
Sebastian Aguilar, 36, of Guttenberg, was found lying on 70th Street between Broadway and Hudson Avenues last Wednesday. Aguilar died the next day at Palisades Medical Center.
Neighbors told reporters that Aguilar lived alone and was from Central America.
Mayor Wayne Zitt said police would have a larger presence on the streets and there was no need for residents of the town to be alarmed.
"I want to be very clear to all residents that there is nothing more important to me as mayor than keeping Guttenberg safe and I promise that we will do everything in our power to make sure that is the case," Zitt said in a statement.
"We will be using security cameras and working with neighboring law enforcement agencies to ensure public safety. We are also in the process of adding more police officers to our department in order to keep up with the population growth in our town."
The waterfront town has about 11,000 residents living in a fifth of a square mile.
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said no additional charges have been filed against the 14- and 15-year-olds who already were charged with assault but could face charges in connection to the death. A cause and manner of death have not been determined by the medical examiner.
Additional people may have been involved in the assault, according to Suarez. She did not offer a motive for the assault.
A witness to the incident who spoke on camera but did not wish to be identified told NBC 4 New York that as many as eight teens were involved with the incident. Two other residents told the station that there have been other attacks recently by groups of teens. A woman said she would not want to be on the street after 9 p.m.
In the first two months of this year, police have recorded 11 simple assaults. Last year, there were 83 such assaults and six more serious assaults, a drop from 2016, according to crime data maintained by the State Police.
Guttenberg has a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, according to the town's ordinances and regulations.
Public Safety Director Joel Magenheimer did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.
The prosecutor asked anyone with information about the incident to call her office at 201-915-1345