Print
Category: Top News
Hits: 2312

WOODBURY — Francis E. Runquist Jr., 53, of Runnemede, was sentenced Friday to five years in New Jersey state prison after pleading guilty to an Aug. 25, assault on a Westville man that left the victim with a shattered eye socket and thousands of dollars in medical bills beyond what his insurance paid.

Doctors said “I’m lucky I did not lose my eyesight,” the victim said in a statement read to the court before Runquist’s sentencing. Repairing the damage to his face cost $40,000, with about $4,000 in insurance copayments still owed, he said.

The assault began while both men were passengers being driven home after a social gathering, Superior Court Judge Kevin T. Smith said in summarizing the incident. Runquist began beating the victim in a vehicle and continued after the vehicle stopped and the victim was on the ground.

An unemployed mason and admitted abuser of alcohol and user of marijuana since age 8, Runquist was expelled from high school for fighting and has been the subject of five restraining orders since 1999, Judge Smith said. A significant factor in sentencing was concern Runquist would reoffend unless his substance abuse problems are addressed, the judge said. Judge Smith ordered Runquist to pay $2,960 in restitution to the victim.