Hundreds raised for alleged vicitim of ‘knockout video;’ teen could be tried as asault
Jill Ploskonka created the account after Cesar Nejara came forward and told his story of his assault being captured on video, but did not have any contact information. The two connected over the weekend, and Ploskonka was able to give him access to the account.
"This Saturday I was able to meet Cesar who was grateful for all of the people that donated to him. He couldn't believe it at first until I showed him," Ploskonka wrote on the page GoFundMe. Nejara posted a short thank you video spoken in Spanish.
Nejara is seen in the video standing along a Paterson street corner when a young man approaches. Someone else off camera yells “don’t hit him.” The young man turns back to the camera, and another voice tells him “knock him out.” The young man throws a punch at Nejara, who falls flat, as an off-camera voice laughs heartily.
Authorities have charged 18-year-old Kristian Gonzalez for the alleged assault, as well as another teen believed to have recorded the incident. Gonzalez's lawyer has said the 18-year-old suffers from several psychological issues.
Speaking through a translator, Nejara, 37, told ABC 7 the punch to his face broke a tooth and still causes him pain in his mouth. Nejara said he could not eat sold food for eight days after the attack. He also said he is afraid to leave his home and lives in fear.
According to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, the teen seen knocking out a man in the video has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and endangering.
Gonzalez's lawyer, Harley Breite, told NJ Advance Media the prosecutor's office is looking to try the teens as adults. Gonzalez was 17 when the alleged attack took place.
Ploskonka wrote on the GoFundMe page that Nejara is "still very shaken and wants to move out of Paterson." She said that two dentists have also offered to help Nejara with his dental work and that he was actually punched twice, but only one hit caught on video.