When Alberto Martinez heard laughter, police say, the homeless laborer from Wildwood got off his bicycle and pulled out his wooden baseball bat.
Then he crept up on the three young men who were laughing and allegedly swung at one, as hard as he could.
"It came out of nowhere. There was no warning," said Wildwood Police Lt. Terry Oslar. "It was terrible."
Martinez allegedly struck Vincent DiSario, of Edison, in the back of the head about 7:50 p.m. on May 10, as the Middlesex County College student and two friends were making their way toward the Wildwood boardwalk.
The 19-year-old died yesterday afternoon at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City. Martinez, held in the Cape May County jail since the assault, now faces murder charges.
DiSario was in the resort to play in a community college golf tournament at Cape May National Golf Club in nearby Lower Township. He was staying at the Bolero Motel on Atlantic Avenue and had just eaten dinner when he and his teammates decided to check out the boardwalk.
One of the three tripped over the curb on their way there, Oslar said, prompting the others to laugh. Martinez happened to be pedaling past them at the same time.
"He thought they were laughing at him," Oslar said.
Martinez, 28, was captured shortly afterward on his bicycle. Oslar said his department has had run-ins with Martinez but declined to elaborate. He will be arraigned on murder charges today.
According to a Facebook group, DiSario had been in a coma with swelling on the brain since the attack and recently contracted a lung infection.