Connect with us

Police, Fire & Courts

Seaside Heights Man Cops 3-Year Plea in Assault That Killed Fellow Resident

Anthony Collins (Photo: Ocean County Jail)

Anthony Collins (Photo: Ocean County Jail)

Evidentiary issues led to a Seaside Heights man who assaulted and ultimately caused the death of a another borough resident in 2023 receiving a less-than-traditional sentencing recommendation for his crime, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Anthony Collins, 41, of Seaside Heights, pled guilty to manslaughter before the Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan in connection with the death of Robert May, 70, of Seaside Heights, on Oct. 1, 2023, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announced. The plea was entered Monday.

Prosecutors said Seaside Heights police officers were called to the area of Central Avenue and Sumner Avenue on Sept. 18 at about 4 p.m. for a report of a fall victim. The responding officers found a male victim – later identified as May – laying on the ground next to his bicycle. May was observed to be bleeding from a laceration to his head and was initially treated at the scene and refused further medical assistance.

Get Daily Island News Updates
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

Authorities say the victim then left the area and returned to his residence. Police officers still investigated, however, and ultimately determined May was assaulted by Collins, which caused him to fall off his bicycle and strike his head on the pavement. Just an hour later, Seaside Heights officers received a call that the man was acting erratically at home and responded along with EMTs for medical assistance.

May was transported by the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad from his home to Community Medical Center in Toms River, where his condition continued to deteriorate, prosecutors said, and he was subsequently transferred to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

On Oct. 1, 2023, May succumbed to his injuries. An autopsy conducted that day by the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of May’s death to be blunt force injury resulting from the assault which occurred in Seaside Heights on Sept. 18, 2023, and the manner of his death to be homicide.

A continuing investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Seaside Heights Police Department determined that Collins was suspected of assaulting May on Sept. 18, ultimately resulting in his death.

On Oct. 4, 2023, a warrant was issued for Collins’ arrest, and his name was entered in the National Crime Information Center database. On Sunday 15, Collins surrendered himself at Seaside Heights Police Department Headquarters. He has been held in the Ocean County Jail ever since.

Such cases normally garner more serious charges or yield tougher sentences, prosecutors said, however evidentiary issues led to a plea bargain being hatched in the case.

“Certain proof problems in this case resulted in the state entering into a plea agreement with a recommended sentence that is below the normal sentencing range for manslaughter,” said Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer. “The victim’s family recognizes and understands those issues, and is in support of this resolution. I commend them for their compassionate and forgiving nature.”

Local police worked with the prosecutor’s office and the United States Marshals Service to investigate the case, Billhimer said, recognizing their efforts.

Click to comment