YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Detectives this morning raided a Rutherford apartment and arrested a man who they said beat the father of a former friend so badly that he needed brain surgery. They also arrested the alleged assailant’s roommate on obstruction-of-justice charges.
Julio Pina-Catena (l.) and Kenneth Cabrera
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said Julio Pina-Catena, 39, once lived with the victim, 56-year-old Nelson Martin of Wallington, and his family in Hudson County.
Pina-Catena had broken in and was trashing the place on May when the elder Martin came home and was attacked on May 4, Molinelli said.
“Pina-Catena then fled the residence, leaving Nelson Martin severely injured to call for help,” the prosecutor said.
His son, Adrian, found Martin and called police.
Martin was “drifting in and out of consciousness” and had suffered “facial fractures around his left eye and a fracture of his C-6 vertebra, which resulted in a restriction of movement to his left arm,” Molinelli said.
“Due to the severity of [Martin’s] head trauma, he immediately underwent surgery to his skull to relieve excessive intracranial pressure due to the attack,” the prosecutor said, adding that Martin “is currently undergoing rehabilitation.”
Detectives immediately homed on Adrian Martin’s acquaintances — Pina-Catena, in particular, who was once a close friend and lived with the Martin family, Molinelli said.
This morning, they arrested him at his Rutherford home and also took into custody his roommate, Kenneth Cabrera.
Pina-Catena, who is single and unemployed, is being held on $1 million bail at the Bergen County Jail. Charges include attempted murder, armed burglary, criminal mischief and weapons possession.
Cabrera, who is single and works for a Secaucus car service, is being held on $100,000 bail. Both have court appearances scheduled for tomorrow.
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