NEWARK, N.J. — A 24-year-old Kearny pizza deliveryman who was beaten with a baseball bat on Sept. 27 died at University Hospital in Newark on Oct. 6 after spending 10 days in a coma, and his alleged attackers will now face felony murder charges, according to a report in the Jersey Journal.
Police say that Domino's pizza employee Nabeel Siddiqui, a native of Pakistan, was lured to Haxton Avenue, an upscale street in Orange, by a phony order. Authorities believe three teenagers called in the order so they could steal Siddiqui's 1995 Nissan Altima.
Siddiqui was struck in the head with a baseball bat and left on the ground, authorities said.
The charges against his alleged attackers -- two 16-year-olds from Orange and a 17-year-old from Woodbridge -- were upgraded with felony murder, said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow. The prosecutor's office will ask that they be tried as adults.
The juveniles were initially charged with aggravated assault, robbery, possession of a weapon, carjacking and conspiracy.
After graduating from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark in May, Siddiqui planned to use his bachelor of science degree in computer science to get a good job and support his parents in Pakistan, according to the Jersey Journal.
Siddiqui dreamed of bringing his parents to the United States to show them the America that he had been enjoying, according to his cousin, Asim Khan of Westchester County, New York.
Pooling their resources, Siddiqui's friends came up with $2,500 to fly Siddiqui's mother to the United States on Oct. 4. On Oct. 7 about 100 of Siddiqui's friends gathered at his Kearny home, according to Omar Mohammed, Osman's brother. "We want justice to be served, that's all," he said.
"This crime was a deplorable act of senseless violence upon a conscientious young man trying to better himself," NJIT President Robert Altenkirch said. "Our hearts go out to his friends and family."
Richard Pompelio, chairman of the New Jersey State Crime Victim's Compensation Board in Newark, said he will continue to work with Siddiqui's family.
"We were on the phone Friday, and (Monday) morning," Pompelio said. "They (U.S. Embassy officials) said they were going to help us. Now, I have this empty feeling. Such a sweet, innocent kid. He was like everyone's son. We'll still do what we can to help out the family."