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New Jersey beating may have been act of retaliation

New developments in the New Jersey case of a 15-year-old boy who was allegedly beaten by several other teenagers have come to light, leading some to claim the incident was retaliation for another attack perpetrated by the victim.

Upon inspection of surveillance footage, authorities originally classified the attack as a mugging. They recently announced the arrest of a suspect in the attack, charging him with aggravated assault, conspiracy and robbery.

However, a friend of the alleged assailants told reporters that the victim was part of a Hispanic group that attacked one his friends. In response, the African-American group chased the 15-year-old to a nearby deli where they were captured on camera beating him.

Students say that racial tensions are high at the high school which all the teenagers involved attend, which frequently causes fights to break out.

"Everybody sticks to their own kind," one student explained.

Another said that the victim should have expected the attack, saying that a beating is likely to be responded to with a beating.

Police have arrested two suspects thus far, but are continuing their investigation in effort to subdue all the teenagers caught on camera. One suspect has been transferred to a youth detention facility to await trial.

A charge of aggravated assault must be taken seriously whether it's filed against an adult or a juvenile. It can mean incarceration and a criminal record that can haunt a young person for the rest of their life.

The best approach is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect the rights of the defendant in negotiations with authorities or in front of a court.

Source: NBC News: "Brutal NJ Teen Beating May Have Been Retaliation," Brian Thompson, Oct. 26, 2011