According to Florham Park police, a Farleigh Dickinson University (FDU) student was attacked by three men after he failed to pay a drug debt.
The student told officers that Marquise Howard, also an FDU student, knocked on his door and told him to pay $40 for a past drug debt. When the student refused to pay, Mr. Howard, fellow student Oraine Brown, and an unidentified man entered the student’s room and punched him before stealing his TV.
According to police, the student suffered visible injuries to his forehead, throat, and eye.
Mr. Howard and Mr. Brown were both arrested and charged with robbery, theft of movable property, and simple assault.
Simple assault in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a). According to the statute, a person is guilty of simple assault if he or she causes bodily injury to another person. Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense, with a conviction resulting in up to six (6) months in jail.
It is also possible that Mr. Howard and Mr. Brown will eventually be charged with second degree aggravated assault, which is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b). According to the statute, a person is guilty of second degree aggravated assault if he or she attempts to cause “serious” bodily injury to a person. Typically, this means that the injury must create a risk of death or cause permanent disfigurement to the victim. Because of the seriousness of this offense, if charged with aggravated assault, Mr. Howard and Mr. Brown could be looking at up to ten (10) years in state prison.
And if the assault is deemed “violent,” the prosecutor may invoke the No Early Release Act (NERA), requiring Mr. Howard and Mr. Brown to serve no less than 85% of their sentences before becoming eligible for parole.
Mr. Howard and Mr. Brown were taken to Morris County Correctional Facility, where they were being held in lieu of $7,500.00 bail with no 10 percent option.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “FDU Student Refuses to Pay $40 Drug Debt, Gets Beaten and TV Stolen, Cops Say.”