Are hate crimes on the increase in America? And are the alleged criminals getting ever younger? These are tough questions to think about. Lately though a scroll through the news headlines shows a vast array of hate crimes all over the country. Where is all this hatred coming from and how can it be quelled?
Hate Crimes in Old Bridge, NJ?
Divyendu Sinha, a computer scientist and professor at Stevens Institute of Technology originally from South Asia, was beaten to death in front of his home on Fela Drive in Old Bridge, New Jersey home in June, reports NJ.com.
This murder has stunned the community. It is viewed as a possible hate crime. About 6 percent of the residents of Old Bridge are of South Asian heritage. Are the Indian residents of Old Bridge under attack by teens in the town?
The other members of the South Asian community in Old Bridge must now be on edge. Indeed, some of them told NJ.com that “they have been the target of verbal attacks and vandalism from teenagers recently.”
5 Teens Under Arrest
The 5 alleged murderers are teens in Old Bridge. They all attend Old Bridge High School with the teenage children of Mr. Sinha. It is not yet known if any of the teens had a history of trouble making in the town. Some of the attackers are believed to be athletes in the town’s public school.
This group of 5 teens had also allegedly attacked a white man shortly before the attack on Mr. Sinha. Were the teens out “wilding” in a romp around town that ended in an alleged murder?
Old Bridge has a slightly urban feel to it, but it is in the suburbs. It is near the town Sayreville, where the singer Jon Bon Jovi is from. Old Bridge is not the type of town where you expect to hear that teenagers have allegedly murdered an adult member of the community.
A High School Forever Changed
Mr. Sinha’s wife and his two teenage sons were with him at the time of the attack. It is horrific that this family had to witness this murder. And now, as school starts in September, the Sinha sons will return to the school community where some of their peers, who are now under arrest, allegedly murdered their father. The school community will be forever changed by this murder.
This is a tragic situation. However, teens are quite resilient. I am sure the Sinha boys will keep firmly in mind the goals their father had for them and continue on to build a life he would have been proud of.
But the hearts of Americans break as they learn of this murder and realize the struggle the boys have in front of them as they seek justice for the death of their father. New Jersey is a state with an incredibly diverse population. Kids who grew up in NJ have interacted with all different types of people their entire lives. So how can a hate crime happen?
Prosecutor Wants Teens Tried as Adults
How can a group of kids allegedly senselessly kill a man who was at the peak of his life and the head of a household? The alleged murderers are all male. One suspect is age 16 and the four others are age 17. If they are tried as adults for this crime their names will be released to the public. Also, they could face 30 years to life in prison if convicted.
Do towns need more community centers to keep suburban kids busy and off the street in the evenings? What ever happened to kids shooting hoops outside on nice summer evenings at the community basketball courts? Perhaps all town need to be more proactive to find ways to keep kids engaged in wholesome activities during the summer months.
Could this Murder be Linked to Gang Activity?
New Jersey certainly has a problem with gangs that recruit teenagers. The Bloods, Crips and MS-13 all have a presence in the state. Could this murder have been part of a gang initiation? Sometimes a gang will require recruits to participate in a murder as part of acceptance into the gang.
Will the Death Penalty be Used?
Could this crime result in the death penalty for the teens if they are charged as adults? That is a complex issue that will likely be discussed in depth as the criminal cases proceed.
Is the death penalty a fair outcome in a murder trial? I think so. If criminals understand that if they kill someone they may get that same justice after they are arrested perhaps it would deter some crimes.
Call Police with Information
Anyone who has any information about this murder should contact Officer Greg Morris of the Old Bridge Police at 732-721-5600.