Union City cop holds fundraiser for families of teens killed on Kennedy

The outpouring of love and prayers have been nonstop for Bryan Rodriguez, 17, and Noel Herrera, 16, who were mowed down last Saturday when 23-year-old Eric Patterson of Jersey City jumped a curb on Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen.

“It’s the community pulling together again, one more time,” says Det. Carlos Pina, who spearheaded a fundraiser in honor of Rodriguez and Herrera near Union City High School Friday afternoon.  “We’ve been tested.

“And we’re just getting together as a community to make things a little easier for the family members,” after being faced with an unspeakable tragedy.

According to the detective, they took some pre-orders and initially raised $1,500 on shirts bearing the likeness of the teens and the words, “Dance in Heaven” RIP Bryan and Noel, then doubled the order of each size to raise as much additional money as they could. And they did, raising $1,100 more — bringing the total to $2,600.

Bryan’s dad, Jorge Rodriguez, told Pina he’s very happy and appreciative they did this.  The proceeds will be split in half between both families.

“So we’re out here… hustling.  It’s an unfortunate situation what the families (are) going through, but as a community we’re gonna get through it,” Pina says.

About The Author

Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time, Jillian enjoys yoga; working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Follow on Twitter @JillianRis

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