Monday, July 6, 2015

Camden baseball park to be renamed after 6-year-old who died saving sister

The baseball park at Second and Erie will be renamed after one of Camden's youngest heroes: Dominick Andujar. Dominick, 6, died on Sept. 2 as he tried to defend his sister against a knife-wielding intruder.

Camden baseball park to be renamed after 6-year-old who died saving sister

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The baseball park at Second and Erie will be renamed after one of Camden’s youngest heroes: Dominick Andujar.

Dominick, 6, died on Sept. 2 as he tried to defend his sister against a knife-wielding intruder. The man turned the knife on Dominick, slicing his throat and leaving him dead. But Dominick gave the man enough of a struggle that his sister Amber was able to escape and survive.

At a celebration and belated birthday party Friday night for Amber, who turned 12 the night of the attack, Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd and City Council President Frank Moran announced that the park where Dominick played T-ball all summer would be named after him.

The party Friday, held at Cathedral Hall in downtown Camden, was also meant to recognize Dominick’s heroic actions in saving his sisters.
I sat down with Amber and Dominick’s family earlier this week to learn about Dominick’s upbringing and how a spunky 6-year-old was able to stand up to a violent man in the middle of the night. Excerpts from that interview helped shape my story, scheduled to run in tomorrow’s Inquirer.

Osvaldo Rivera, 31, whom police identified as the Andujar siblings’ attacker, was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and sexual assault.

Rivera told investigators that he had smoked “wet,” a combination of marijuana and PCP that has been known to lead to vivid hallucinations and bursts of violence.

“My son was a fighter,” his mother recalled during a two-hour interview, the family’s first since the attacks. “From what I saw on him, his marks, he had to be fighting.”

The family has a hard time describing the chaos and trauma that followed, but they agree on one thing: Dominick gave up his life for his sisters.

Check out my full story tomorrow.

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About this blog

Allison Steele writes about Camden’s schools, government and businesses. Most importantly, she writes about the city’s residents. She is a former crime reporter who covered the Camden and Philadelphia police departments for the Inquirer. A Philly native, she has been with the Inquirer since 2008.

Send comments, tips and story ideas to asteele@philly.com, call 856-779-3876, or reach out on Twitter @AESteele.

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