A college student was found naked and beaten badly on a street in Newark, and his family is demanding answers on what happened that fateful night.
Robert Hayes, 20, was found unresponsive and suffering from severe head trauma in Newark on July 9 around 5.30am after what police believe to be an assault by a group of reputed gang members.
The New Jersey City University student was pronounced medically dead at 4.56pm on the same day, after he was transferred to University Hospital for treatment.
He was taken off life support Saturday morning.
Family are trying to grasp what happened to Hayes who described him as a hard working student on the path to graduation. Family members said Hayes had no gang ties and spent his time studying and working as a concierge at luxury apartment buildings in Bayonne and Jersey City.
He was set to graduate with a national security studies degree next year and had hoped to become a federal law enforcement agent, according to NJ.com.
His father, Robert ‘Sleepy’ Carpenter, realized his son was loved by many as messages of support poured in and a vigil was held over the weekend near the intersection where Hayes was found.
I knew my son had an expansive circle of friends, but I didn’t realize how big it was until I stood and watched these kids of all colors and creeds come in and just cry for him,’ he told NJ.com.
An Islamic janazah ceremony at the Islamic Center of America has been organized to honor Hayes in the wake of his death. It is scheduled for Friday, Carpenter said.
After Hayes was taken off life support, his organs were donated to those in need, per his wishes. He became an organ donor last year.
With him being as young as he was, I didn’t understand it,’ Carpenter said of his son. ‘But in time he talked with me about it so I understood his thinking. With him losing his life, what I have to do, when I bury my son, I have to start giving back.
‘I have to start seeing and doing things from a “we” factor rather than a “me” factor. That in a nutshell is how Rob went about things.’
Family members plan to establish a foundation in honor of Hayes that will focus on gang intervention tactics. They plan to provide life skills training and programs to establish jobs in urban centers, family spokesman Emmanuel Shahid Watson said.