Jerry Wolkowitz, a longtime EMT, photojournalist and son of Jewish Holocaust survivors who was the victim of a vicious racially-motivated attack, has died at age 56 after nearly six months on life support.
On May 1, 2018, 25-year-old Jamil Hubbard allegedly approached Wolkowitz from behind and punched him in the head and face. He then allegedly pulled Wolkowitz’s body into the parking lot of his Freehold, New Jersey apartment building and ran him over with his car, leaving him for dead.
Hubbard then allegedly stole the car and abandoned it near his home in Sayreville, New Jersey.
Wolkowitz was found later that day and taken to the hospital in critical condition, with numerous injuries including broken ribs, crushed pelvis and a broken shoulder. From May until his death on Thursday, Wolkowitz was in a coma and dependent on a ventilator to breath, according to a GoFundMe page.
“The investigation determined that the defendant targeted the victim because of his race,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said at the time, adding that Hubbard, who is black, and Wolkowitz, who is white, did not know each other.
Wolkowitz was a freelance journalist and photographer for numerous publications including the Asbury Park Press. He was also an EMT and ambulance driver and volunteer with the Freehold First Aid and Rescue Squad.
The GoFundMe page created for his medical expenses raised more than $11,000 and will now be used to cover his funeral expenses.
Patch.com documented posts written by Wolkowitz’s sister, Goldie Markowitz:
Jerry was “a reporter, a writer, a first aid volunteer, a dedicated worker, a wonderful friend, and a devoted family man with a loving fiance,” his sister wrote. He loved cats and adored his cat Misu.”
“Jerry has always had a strong connection and commitment to his family,” she wrote. “He has been the primary caretaker for our parents, especially caring for them during their most vulnerable illnesses.”
“Jerry spent his life dedicated to helping others and has touched so many lives as a volunteer for the Freehold First Aid Squad, a reporter for the Asbury Park Press and The News Transcript, a driver for SAS Ambulance, and so much more. He is kindhearted, has a great sense of humor, and is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.”
“Please let love win and not hate,” she wrote on the initial GoFundme post. “Please let only goodness and kindness in as that is what Jerry would have done.”
Baruch Da’yan HaEmes
(Nat Golden – YWN)