John Charlton just wanted to stop a woman from being abused, his brother says.
Now, the Mays Landing man could die.
Charlton, 55, was driving along Route 40 on Thursday morning when he saw a man hitting a woman, and stopped to help, Hamilton Township police have said.
Police have not named Charlton, but family has confirmed his identity.
Christopher Charlton says his older brother likely was going to try to reason with the man.
“My brother isn’t a fighter,” he told BreakingAC. “That’s why he was walking up to him because he’s going to walk up and try to talk with this guy. That’s how I see my brother.”
Instead, police say, Calvin Wiggins punched the man, sending him to the ground.
A witness who was at her complex across the street told NBC10 that she could “hear his head crack all the way over here.”
John Charlton has undergone brain surgery to clear fluid and alleviate swelling, his brother said.
He hasn’t regained consciousness since, but did open his eyes and has shown some promising signs, Christopher Charlton said.
“When we came in after surgery, he gripped my hand with his right hand,” he said. “He recognized who we were . I know he’s in there fighting for his life right now and it makes me even prouder of him.”
John is the oldest of five children, but second in line Christopher said his brother always looked up to him because of his service in the Navy.
But now, Christopher Charlton says his brother is his hero.
“You try to help people, look what happens,” witness Mary Wickliff told NBC’s Ted Greenberg. “Just get on your phone and call for help. Don’t get involved.”
But Christopher Charlton said he and his brother were raised that men don’t hit women.
“Even if he knew what was going to happen to him, he probably would still do it,” Charlton said. “What if he walked away and the girl got killed? My bother’s not that type of person. He would definitely step forward.”
John Charlton just started a new job full time and does not yet have insurance. So, his brother set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.
Even a dollar or so would help, he said.
On Thursday Nov. 2, 2017 my older brother John was on his way to work on route 40 near Maylanding New Jersey. While driving he noticed a woman being beat by a man. Without a thought my brother pulled and jumped out of his car to try and stop the altercation.
The family isn’t just praying for his recovery, Christopher Charlton said, but for Wiggins’ family as well.
“We don’t know his background, whether this is a one-time instance or he’s a repeat offender,” Charlton said. “We know that he’s shattered his life and his family’s life. We pray for his family too to get through this.”
Wiggins, 24, of Sicklerville, is headed back to prison, according to state Department of Corrections records.
He is on parole after serving about 19 months of a three-year sentence after pleading guilty in a 2014 robbery, court records show. He has been out on parole since Aug. 18, 2016.