3 New Jersey teenagers charged with video­taped im­mi­grant death

Austin American-Statesman - - WEDNESDAY BRIEFING -

SUM­MIT, N.J. — Dusk fell around Sal­vado­ran im­mi­grant Abe­lino Mazaniego as he sat on a bench in an up­scale New York sub­urb af­ter fin­ish­ing his res­tau­rant shift. As night en­croached, so did a group of teenagers, in­clud­ing one with a cell phone video cam­era at the ready.

Then, au­thor­i­ties say, they beat him un­con­scious, with the cam­era rolling.

Days later, the 47-year-old fa­ther of four was dead — but not be­fore the video had been cir­cu­lated among teens in Sum­mit, N.J., au­thor­i­ties say. And not be­fore a nurse in the emer­gency room where he was taken the night of July 17 was ac­cused of pil­fer­ing hun­dreds from his wal­let.

The attacks on Mazaniego’s body and dig­nity re­sulted in days of es­ca­lat­ing court ac­tions that cul­mi­nated Tues­day in murder charges against three young men, ages 17, 18 and 19. A fourth teenager thought to have video­taped the at­tack hasn’t been charged, but au­thor­i­ties weren’t di­vulging de­tails on the teen’s in­volve­ment or po­ten­tial cul­pa­bil­ity.

In Sum­mit on Tues­day evening, a young girl sobbed and clutched the waist of a woman as they stood with oth­ers in front of a shrine of sun­flow­ers, can­dles, notes and a photo of Mazaniego that had been placed on the bench where he was at­tacked. A woman with red-rimmed eyes said she was Mazaniego’s wife of 29 years, and the rest were fam­ily mem­bers. She de­clined to give her name, say­ing she was too scared.

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