'I thought they killed him:' Cousins brutally beaten while trick-or-treating in New Jersey

EGG HARBOR CITY, New Jersey -- A South Jersey man says he and his teenage cousin were assaulted Wednesday night over a bag of candy while they were trick-or-treating.

Daniel Peterson's face shows the result of the Halloween attack in Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County. He suffered a broken jaw and needed 28 stitches

"I probably got hit in the face 20 times within two seconds," said Peterson.

Peterson says they were approached by a group of teens just a couple of blocks away from their home. Peterson and his cousin Ethan Drey tried to ignore the jeers, but it quickly got violent.

Drey, who has autism, said the attackers were armed with knives, bats, glass bottles, and metal poles.

Peterson recalled the group saying, "Hit him, hit him, take his candy, get the white boy's candy."

"They grab the bag I got, drop it on the ground. I go to pick it up, dude steps on it, and I got clocked," said Peterson.

Drey said the attack was fast. He was knocked unconscious, while Peterson bore the brunt of the beating.

"I thought they killed him. It was so gruesome that if you had been there, you would have thought he would have been dead," said Drey.

The attack itself happened on a dark street.

The pair flagged down police and then were taken to the hospital.

Drey suffered a concussion. Peterson will need surgery once his swelling goes down.

"I don't understand why they would want to hurt someone just for the fun of it, for the thrill," Drey's stepfather Joseph Mituzas said.

Lucky to be alive, Peterson says he hopes his attackers have a conscience.

"Better if they come forward, step forward and man up," Peterson said.

The victims say they recognize some of their attackers as local teens. Police are looking at area surveillance video to identify those involved.
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