Man dies after random assault by stranger on New Jersey street

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A man died after being struck in an unprovoked attack in New Jersey last week, and now, the suspect is facing manslaughter charges.

Authorities say 53-year-old Tyrone Johnson was walking down the 600 block of Broad Street in Newark just before 8:30 p.m. on May 30 when he was attacked by an apparent stranger.

Johnson fell and struck his head, and he was rushed to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before 9 p.m.

His girlfriend, Jeanette Melendez, tells Eyewitness News that Johnson struggled emotionally for decades, first losing his mother when he was still young, and then the big sister who raised him. She said he lived hurt, but humble.

"He was very loving," she said. "He wouldn't harm a fly or nothing. A hard-working man. Didn't get into trouble with nobody."

She was speaking on the phone with him when he was attacked.

"He said, 'Hold on, babe,' so I thought he was gong to put his glasses back on, and then all the sudden, he wasn't answering the phone," she said. "I was screaming on the phone, 'Babe! Babe!' and no answer. And then I started hearing people in the background. They were saying, 'Oh my God, oh my goodness, Lord Jesus, what happened?'"

The suspect, 31-year-old Oscar Kadua, of Newark, has been arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter.

Johnson lived at a shelter on Sussex Avenue and worked six days a week at a food distribution facility in Jersey City.

"Last month, he just started getting one day off a week because he wanted to spend time with me," Melendez said. "He said we don't get enough time to see each other."

The investigation is active and ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.

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