On Friday, August 2, 2013, at approximately 10:10 p.m., the Long Branch Police Department received a 911 call reporting a bicyclist who was struck by a motor vehicle at the intersection of Third Avenue and Chelsea Avenue in Long Branch. Upon arrival, officers located the victim, a 33 year old male from Long Branch. It was quickly discovered that he had actually been physically assaulted by several individuals, as opposed to having been struck by a motor vehicle.
An investigation was immediately launched into the matter and it was learned that four individuals had severely beaten the victim and fled the scene in a vehicle. The victim was immediately transported to a local hospital where he was treated for life-threatening injuries. The victim remains in the hospital in critical condition. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted and a joint investigation begun. As a result of the investigation, it was learned that the four individuals had beaten the victim and had struck him multiple times with a baseball bat.
On Thursday, August 8, 2013, police arrested four individuals, 2 adults and 2 juveniles, responsible for the attack. All four were charged with Attempted Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.
The 2 men, Erick Ponce-Vasquez, 19 and Nick Robles, 21, both of Long Branch were transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in lieu of $1.05 million bail which was set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James J. McGann.
The two juveniles, ages 15 and 17, also of Long Branch, were similarly charged and lodged at the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center. Both had their initial appearances before Judge McGann this morning and remain at the Detention Center.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Detective Andrea Tozzi of the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office at (800) 533-7443 or Detective Marshall Brown of the Long Branch Police Department at (732) 222-1000.