Man Charged In Baseball Bat Attack Over $40 Debt

A Wyckoff man allegedly hit two men in the head with a baseball bat over a $40 debt Monday morning.

A Wyckoff man has been arrested for allegedly beating two men with a baseball bat over a small debt he failed to pay, according to Wyckoff police.

Police contend that earlier in the evening, the two 18-year-old victims – one from Wyckoff, the other from Oakland – had gone to the home of 18-year-old Ralph Zocco IV on Madison Ave. to collect a $40 debt he's alleged to have owed the pair. They were quickly shooed from the property by Zocco's mother.

It's then that Zocco, armed with a "small baseball bat," went looking for the pair at the Boulder Run Shopping Center sometime around 12:45 a.m., according to Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox.

Zocco confronted the group and reportedly swung it at a vehicle, police said. He's then alleged to have moved on to human targets, reportedly striking the Oakland man in the head and wrist, and then the Wyckoff man in the head and elbow.

One victim required ten stitches to his head while the other needs arm surgery, police said. Police say Zocco then fled the scene.

He was arrested in his home and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and two counts of possession of a weapon with intent to use it unlawfully.

Judge Russel B. Teschon set bail at $25,000. Zocco was committed to the Bergen County Jail in default of bail.

John B July 16, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Wow as a wyckoff resident for over 20 years I am truly shocked that a young adult who just graduated from high school not even a month ago could do something so sick and disturbing such as this act. I feel terrible for the young men who were assualted by this low life who had to use a bat to fight.
linzee July 16, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Has to be more to the story
Joe Johnson July 17, 2012 at 04:43 PM
These young men must have been upstanding citizens going to someone's house to harass them for $40.
Howard July 17, 2012 at 05:24 PM
The fact of the matter is if they were right or wrong for going to the accuseds house to collect the 40$ mr. Zoccos reaction was wrong simple as that. Know matter how much money was owed or for what ever reason it was owed attacking someone with a baseball bat is not only a shocking level of violence to happen at a place viewed as safe (boulder run) but an incredible disregard for someones life what would you being saying if he killed one or both of the victims? And for what fourty dollars? No amount of nagging someone for Money deserves that...
Nickie Finnegan July 18, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Nickie Finnegan July 18, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Why didn't they let us know who the other two 18 yr olds were? Let's not judge .. There are two sides to every story .. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth
Nickie Finnegan July 18, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Also.. John b.. Do you know the other two men personally? I'm sure they are upstanding citizens in our community
Wyckoff Man July 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I couldn't agree more with Howard! We have too many people who think they have to live up to Mafia like standards! There is never any reason to act like a thug and beat someone with a baseball bat unless you were in imminent danger! This was a premeditated attack. Even if he was angry for good reason this is just out and out thuggery!
Henry Jones July 18, 2012 at 09:46 PM
i couldnt agree more with wyckoff man, i believe that weapons should be used in fights and that zocco had a very good reason to retaliate. Mafia like crimes create character. Enough said.
albert f July 19, 2012 at 11:24 PM
lets not jump to conclusion, i am not saying what this young man did is right, but there has to be more to the story. if these kids came to his house in the middle of the night over 40 dollars i doubt they are as innocent as this story states. for all we know he could have been threatened for his life, they could have said something to his mother. again not saying what this young man did was right, there were a thousand other ways he could have went about the situation rather than retaliating with a bat. but the fact of the matter is nobody knows what happened except for the people involved. there seems to be alot missing from this story
wake up July 20, 2012 at 05:21 PM
I love reading these comments and seeing how "shocked" people are. This town is full of drug addicts and a lot worse stuff goes on. The police are pushing the "dangers of underage drinking" while the underage kids are getting high out of their parents medicine cabinets and buying heroin in paterson. This assault was most likely drug related. Wake up Wyckoff, this town is not great place to raise your kids anymore
Citizen July 25, 2012 at 04:07 AM
I have to agree with the comment by "wake up". I am not surprised at all. Do you people really think that young adults in an affluent community (with most likely well-off parents) should need to break arms and bust people up with over 40 measly dollars? These young non-contributing leeches of society run around this town with mommy and daddies cash getting high without a care in the world. Eventually these modern day junkies get cut off and subsequently become violent when somebody gets in the way of getting high. This is a perfect example of our youth today and trying to portray what they see in movies and act like tough guys. Ralph Zocco obviously had his big-boy pants on after watching Goodfellas and felt like breaking out his souvenir bat from Yankee stadium. Who commits a crime in broad daylight at a shopping center anyway? What a poor excuse for a criminal. He shouldn't even have the privilege of having his picture in the news!
ryan dolan July 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I have known Ralph for all of highschool and that is not his behavior at all. This was about some wannabe hoodrats from Oakland trying to get tough and take his wallet and other posseions I wont speak of here on here. three people trying to attack one person sounds like he was being Jumped and used anything to defend himself. I dont blame him at all. But once again WYCKOFF police are quick to jump to conclusion and lock people up. Could this be another Chaupiz story or Michaels story. Lets just start blaming all the same people for the crimes in this town and make us look like were doing our jobs. SOUNDS LIKE WYCKOFF POLICE TOO ME.
Anonymous July 28, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Ryan Dolan please stop commenting on things you have no idea about. I know the 2 other guys personally and Ralph, they happened to be best friends. No one stole anyone's wallet and Ralph was high on drugs- which is why he attacked them. It's not defending himself when he left his home, found them at boulder run and beat one of the mens cars and the 2 men themselves. I'll agree, Ralph was never like that but peope change. It's sickening what drugs can do to people
Sergio Long Fingers August 01, 2012 at 06:57 PM
This kid was coked up look at the mugshot... If you are on someone's property and leave when asked before creating any problems, like the victims here did, it does not justify illegal behavior. Even if there was something more to this story nobody should be allowed to act like a mafioso, the same thing the family is known for, and beat someone with a bat. Ralph Zocco III has continuously proven to be a problem wether it be previous fighting or drug activity, please send a message and use this hoodlum as an example for anyone else who is considering such a vicious attack.
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