by Jess Hoogendoorn
A Rider University student was attacked by an unknown male early Saturday morning as he was walking down a driveway after an off-campus party.
Daniel DelGrande, 20, of Robbinsville was leaving a Tall Timbers Drive house in Lawrence Township on Oct. 18 at 1:45 a.m. when he was struck in the side of the head, police said.
Police received an anonymous phone call about the assault. When officers arrived, they tried to locate DelGrande, but learned he had already been taken to a Princeton hospital by friends.
DelGrande suffered a broken jaw, broken teeth, a fractured orbital socket, a black eye and a cut on the back of the head from hitting the ground, said Lt. Charles Edgar of the Lawrence Township Police Department (LTPD).
Police do not know what motivated the attack.
DelGrande was released from the hospital on Monday and is at home recuperating, said Dan Higgins, executive director of University Communications. DelGrande is expected to resume classes on Oct. 27, according to Dean of Students Anthony Campbell.
The house is located approximately three miles from the Lawrenceville campus in an area where the home sale prices range from $500,000 to $763,000, according to the real estate Web site zillow.com.
The house is rented by several Rider students, some of whom are former ZBT members, said Higgins. The fraternity was disbanded last year after repeatedly facing charges of violating the University’s Code of Conduct and falling short of standards set by the administration during a probation period.
DelGrande is a former member and is good friends with the renters, according to one of the home’s residents.
The party DelGrande attended that night was intended to be a small get-together for a friend’s birthday, but “uninvited” people began arriving after MAACness, said one of the residents. It is believed that there were between 100 and 150 people at the party, according to Campbell.
After arriving on the scene in response to the attack, Lawrence police issued two ordinance violations for underage drinking at the party, Edgar said.
“If we get police reports back, the people who were cited will be held accountable under our new Code of Conduct,” Campbell said.
Even though the victim of the attack was a Rider student, Lawrence community members seem to think that Rider students are becoming a nuisance.
While he was in a local barber shop, Dr. Aaron Moore, an assistant professor of journalism at Rider, overheard members of the community talking about the article that appeared in The Times of Trenton about the assault.
Moore said he had never been in the barber shop before and was interested in what these community members had to say. He was not wearing any Rider clothing and no one knew who he was, so he had no trouble listening in on the conversation.
He said the people in the barber shop referred to the off-campus party as a “beer party.” He recalled them saying “those Rider kids are out of control.”
“That seemed to be the prevailing opinion that these neighborhood people had,” Moore said.
The details of the attack are still unknown and police are continuing to investigate. So far, no arrests have been made, according to Campbell. The residents of the house said they don’t know why someone would want to attack DelGrande and hope that someone who has more information will call the police.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact LTPD at (609) 896-1111.