Park Named After 6-Year-Old Boy Who Died Protecting His Sister
Dominick Andujar was knifed to death after a neighbor broke into his family’s home.
Dominick Andujar (bottom left) was killed when he tried to stop a man from assaulting his 12-year-old sister. She survived the attack and was there to see Dominick Andujar Park become a reality. [screenshots via CBS Philly]
Dominick Andujar, a 6-year-old New Jersey boy who was murdered while attempting to stop an assailant from attacking his older sister, recently was honored with the opening of a new park in his name.
“If I’m going through a bad day, I feel like I can come here, and sit here and be able to enjoy a peace of mind,” the child’s mother, Debbie Burgos, said of Dominick Andujar Park in North Camden, KYW-TV reported.
Around 2:30 a.m. September 2, 2012, Osvaldo Rivera, then 32, broke into Burgos’s home while she was away, repeatedly sexually assaulted her 12-year-old daughter, and then slashed the girl’s neck with a butcher knife. When Andujar heard his sibling’s cries and tried to help, Rivera turned his weapon on the boy and killed him.
Andujar’s sister was able to escape and run to a neighbor’s house. “There was a whole bunch of blood. It looked like it was coming out of her neck. But she was still alive, still talking,” Nakyta McCray recalled at the time, adding the girl, whose birthday was the same day as the attack, was able to name her attacker.
“Everybody knows him,” McCray had noted. “He’s on this block every day; playing with the kids, talking to some of the adults. It’s very shocking.”
A 14-year-old and 9-year-old girl at home during the attack were uninjured.
Mayor Carstarphen, Commissioner Nash, Councilwoman Morton, The Trust For Public Land & Debbie Burgos (Dominick's mother) cut the ribbon to open Dominick Andujar Park in North Camden. The City of Camden & its partners are proud to create a safe space for all in honor of Dominick. pic.twitter.com/UJF4C06APY— City of Camden Gov (@CityofCamdenGov) July 27, 2021
In 2014, Rivera was convicted of multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault, and burglary, and a judge sentenced him to 110 years in prison.
While Burgos said her son was just a child and “had his whole life taken away from him,” she hopes the park is a place “other kids are going to be able to enjoy and make his name memorable.”
Dominick Andujar Park currently boasts a basketball court, playground and exercise equipment, and the Trust for Public Land plans to annex an adjacent overgrown lot to add a baseball field and green space for community use.