Prosecutor's Office focusing on "person of interest," 10/29October 29, 2007
At a press conference on Monday, October 29, at 2 p.m., Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said his office, working with Rowan University and Glassboro detectives, is focusing on a "person of interest" in Saturday's attack on Rowan sophomore Donald Farrell.
Officials said Mr. Farrell, traveling with a group of friends near the Xpress Food Mart and Triad Apartments off Rt. 322 and Bowe Boulevard around 9 p.m., was attacked by one or two people who were part of a larger group. According to Dalton, Mr. Farrell was punched once or twice in the head and kicked in the stomach.
Rowan police responded to the scene within 90 seconds. Rowan's student-run Emergency Medical Services transported Mr. Farrell to Cooper Trauma Center, reviving him twice en route. He died on Sunday at the Camden-based hospital. Dalton said the preliminary cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma. An autopsy is expected to be conducted shortly.
Dalton indicated that a sketch of the "person of interest" had yielded "several significant leads." His office has conducted 12 interviews to date and expects to conduct several more. He said his office has not determined whether or not the alleged assailant(s) was/were Rowan students or not. He did indicate police do not believe the incident was a gang-related or bias attack, but rather one motivated by robbery. Dalton called it an "extremely swift attack" and said it was unprovoked and ended before Mr. Farrell's companions could intercede.
Dalton distributed to print and television media still pictures from a video taken from the Xpress Food Mart on Rt. 322 where the person the detectives are focusing on is believed to have shopped between 8 and 9 p.m. the night of the attack. He also said he authorized the Borough of Glassboro to use special funds to expand police coverage on and around the Rowan campus.
Rowan President Dr. Donald Farish addressed the press conference as well. "Parents are concerned. This is happening a distance from them," he said. Farish said no amount of police presence could have prevented the attack on Mr. Farrell, which occurred during Homecoming Weekend when Rowan's Public Safety Department and Glassboro's Police Department were out in full force. "This was a brazen attack that may as well have been in broad daylight," Farish said.
Anyone who has information related to the attack on Mr. Farrell is asked to contact the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office at (856) 384-5604.
To view the prosecutor's press conference, go to: http://www.rowan.edu/open/video/press_conference.html