Khayri Williams-Clark, 18, one of two local teens charged with manslaughter in the videotaped beating death of 47-year-old Abelino Mazariego of Summit, is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday.
Williams-Clark will be arraigned on manslaughter charges in Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth at 10 a.m, before Judge Joan Robinson Gross. The other teen charged in the case, who is 17, will be arraigned in juvenile court, a proceeding not open to the public.
Mayor Jordan Glatt announced Thursday afternoon that a community memorial service will be held Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., at a location to be determined.
"I wish to express our heartfelt sympathy for the family of Mr. Mazariego and to pledge our support to help his family in their time of need," Glatt said.
Glatt reiterated some of the facts of the case: that Mazariego (Summit Police now say the victim's name is spelled with an "r," not an "n" as previously reported) was found seated on a bench in the Promenade Park on Springfield Avenue July 17 around 9:25 p.m. Glatt said the Summit First Aid Squad transported the victim to Overlook Hospital. The family was notified of Mazariego's serious condition around midnight and he died Tuesday at 6 p.m.
As the result of the police investigation, manslaughter charges were filed against William-Clark and the 17-year-old.
The attack was videotaped by a teenager who was present during the assault, but who has not been charged, authorities said. It is believed that the video has been circulated among teenagers in Summit.
"Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, we cannot discuss or divulge any further details," Glatt said Thursday, reading a statement. "But I can assure you that all investigative leads will be followed to their conclusion."
Glatt also released the details of Mazariego's funeral, including a wake at Dangler Funeral Home July 24 from 5-10 p.m. with a funeral mass on July 26 at 10:45 a.m. at St. Teresa's Church.
Anyone wishing to assist the family may make donations to the Summit Area Public Foundation, P.O. Box 867, Summit, NJ 07902.
Colin Crasto, restaurant manager at Dabbawalla, has also set up a donation box for the family.
Mazariego worked as a dishwasher and food prep at the Springfield Avenue Indian restaurant.
According to Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow, Mazariego was on a bench in the promenade off of Springfield Avenue when he was approached by a group of teenagers.
The Promenade is a common gathering place in the heart of downtown Summit with benches, a fountain and artwork. It is located near the Tier Parking Garage on Springfield Avenue.
Colin Crasto, restaurant manager at Dabbawalla, said the restaurant was closed for the day on Saturday because of an off-site catering job. A few employees stayed behind at the restaurant to help prep what was needed and Crasto sent Mazariego home around 8 p.m.
Crasto said he believes Mazariego went across the street to Doria Pizzeria for a slice of pizza after work.
"And the next day he was supposed to come in," Crasto said. "Obviously he didn't show."
According to the investigation, the two teens facilitated the attack, said Romankow, causing serious injury. It appears to be an unprovoked attack, although the case remains under investigation.
Police were called to the scene soon after the attack where they discovered Mazariego suffering from severe head trauma. He was transported to Overlook Hospital and died on Tuesday afternoon, having never regained consciousness, Romankow said.
However some who know the victim and his family say that Mazariego walked to the parking lot next to the Summit Train Station and that is where he collapsed and eventually was taken to Overlook.
"He was very hardworking, gentle, punctual, always had a smile," Crasto said. "There was a big language barrier obviously because none of us spoke Spanish, but we overcame it."
Martin Mendz, a chef at Cafe Mavi where Mazariego's son Avelino has worked for three years, said the victim has two sons and two daughters, all natives of El Salvador.
On Tuesday after his father died at Overlook, Mendz says Avelino came back to work.
"Everyone was crying," Mendz said. "He said he couldn't stay there."
Crasto also said the family wants to bring the body back to El Salvador for burial. Mazariego's wife came by the restaurant on Monday asking Crasto to find out when her husband's paycheck, issued Friday, had been cashed.
As far he knows, Crasto said, Mazariego had no money on him when he was found but he and his employees are doing everything they can to help the family.
"It's a terrible, terrible thing to have happened to such a hard working gentleman," he said.