Egg Harbor City man, teen brutally beaten while trick-or-treating
Ethan Drey, 15, is in a neck brace after the attack.
An Egg Harbor City man and his teenage cousin were brutally beaten as they went trick-or-treating Wednesday night. Danny Peterson, 29, had his jaw broken in three places and needed 28 stitches to close up slices to his face, his mother, Florita Peterson, said from his hospital bedside. “All over a couple pieces of candy,” she said as they waited for the oral surgeon to come in. Egg Harbor City police confirmed there is an active investigation into an assault on a man and a juvenile. “No arrests have been made at this time,” Sgt. Marcella Aylwin said.
Former Mayor Don Purdy has offered a $500 reward to anyone turning the culprits in. Danny Peterson was walking near the Wells Fargo on Philadelphia Avenue with Drey when 15 to 20 kids came out from behind the bank and started following them, Peterson told his mother. He told his cousin not to stop and not to look back. That’s when one of the boys said he wanted the candy. When Drey said no, they knocked it out of his hand. Peterson said he was punched in the right jaw and hit in the head with a pipe. While unconscious, he was stomped and slashed. “Ethan said he thought they were killing him,” Florita Peterson said. Pictures shared by the family show the bloody injuries.
Florita Peterson said her family has lived in the city for 22 years and never had anything like this happen. “Danny would give you the shirt off his back,” she said. He had just mowed three neighbors’ lawns without pay. “That’s just the kind of kid he is,” she said. Police told Peterson there were likely 100 witnesses to the assaults. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Egg Harbor City police at 609-965-2901, ext. 4.