Emily Rand continues slow recovery from skull-cracking punch near Rutgers
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENT VIDEO BELOW
NEW BRUNSWICK — Emily Rand remains in the hospital following brain surgery after being punched on a street near Rutgers University.
The man who punched her during a loud altercation on a city street has not been arrested or identified.
"She's not doing well. She had to have surgery to remove part of her skull and she's still in critical condition," Rand's aunt Debbie O'Connor told New Jersey 101.5. "Hopefully she'll wake up but we don't know yet.
"They said she's going to need rehab and in a month or two they'll have to put that piece (of her skull) back if she recovers," O'Connor said, explaining that surgeons operated on the skull in order to relieve pressure on her brain.
Rand, 19, who lives with her aunt and uncle in South Amboy, is a student at Middlesex County College and works at the Macaroni Grill restaurant in Edison. She remains unconscious with a concussion at Robert Wood University Medical Center in New Brunswick.
O'Connor said Rand was with some friends from work, going from one Halloween party to another, early on the morning of Oct. 29.
"I was told by a friend that there was a scuffle that broke out. The guys were calling her and her friends names like 'whore' and 'slut.' She took offense to it and yes she went around and slapped a couple of the guys. They held back. I don't know if she even hit this guy and he just whaled off and punched her," O'Connor said.
A short video of the incident captured on a cell phone shows a loud crowd watching as a blond female punches a man dressed in a gray sweatshirt with black and white sleeves and a black baseball cap. He then punches her hard with a right hook and she falls straight back onto the sidewalk and lies motionless. Someone leads the male away from the scene.
O'Connor said Rand's head hit the sidewalk along Hamilton Street and she passed out.
"I don't condone her throwing the first punch. If he grabbed her and just held her it would have been OK," she said.
New Brunswick Police Capt. J.T. Miller said the department's investigation continues and no charges have been filed.
O'Connor has created a GoFundMe page to help with Rand's medical expenses.
Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call 732-745-5200.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENT VIDEO.