March 28, 2016
A South Jersey man is facing charges for allegedly beating and threatening a juvenile — an incident that was caught on tape and widely circulated on social media, sparking outrage.
The West Deptford Police Department announced Monday that Paul A. Cojocaru, 26, of National Park, is charged with aggravated assault and terroristic threats stemming from the ongoing investigation into the video.
Police first acknowledged the video on March 23 after being flooded with calls from those who had seen it.
Media reports said the video was posted on Facebook and viewed more than a million times. News stations ran the video and blurred the faces of both the assailant and the juvenile victim — who police said does not reside with the attacker and has been returned safely to his family.
Reports at the time the video surfaced said the man was believed to be a mixed martial arts fighter. Several on social media indicated that the man in the video was Cojocaru before police publicly identified him.
In the video, the man throws numerous punches and kicks at the juvenile, throws him to the ground and repeatedly tells him not to move.
"Are you going to go to the cops?" the man asks, to which the victim responds, "No, bro."
"I'll kill you," the man tells him immediately after. The video can be viewed below. WARNING: This video contains graphic content:
FOX29 reported that viewers' outrage led to the creation of a Facebook page that asked for information on the beating, with someone posting threatening messages about the attacker.
Police asked that those concerned refrain from posting those threats.
Cojocaru has posted his $50,000 bail and was released pending court hearings.