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UPDATE: Waretown Beating Victim Still Critical, But Showing Improvement

"Improvements do look positive," his father says

Almost four weeks after an incident outside Lighthouse Tavern in Waretown, where he was found unconscious on the ground with serious injuries, Robert Bethanis, 44, of Barnegat is improving slightly, his family said.

Michael Lombardo, 36, was , after several witnesses reported seeing him striking Bethanis repeatedly with his hands and feet outside the restaurant on the night of March 17, the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office said in a press release on March 18.

Lombardo posted $150,000 bail the day after the incident.

According to the Superior Court Administrator's Office, the case is still in the complaints stage, with no trial date set, as the matter is still under investigation.

When inquired about the progress of the case, the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office did not offer any information.

"We will not be releasing any more details concerning this investigation," Assistant Prosecutor Michel A. Paulhus said.

A spokeswoman for the Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, Maureen Gillespie said Bethanis remains in critical condition at the hospital where emergency personnel took him unconscious that Saturday night.

He is still on a respirator and in intensive care, but "improvements do look positive," said his father, Robert Bethanis, 63. "Bob has shown improvement over the past four or five days."

Though Bethanis did not elaborate as to the specific ways in which his son is doing better, he did say he felt the work of the medical personnel and the support of the local community has been making a difference.

"I cannot say enough about his doctors and nurses at Jersey Shore Medical Center," Bethanis said. "It has been over three very long weeks but with their constant care and dedication, along with people's prayers, I feel he is finally moving in a good direction."

The family has been visiting Bethanis faithfully over the past 26 days.

"We are anxiously awaiting when Bob can acknowledge we are there, what we are saying and have a conversation back," Bethanis said. "It appears we still have a ways to go to reach that point. He has lots of catching up to do as he missed his grandson's first birthday and Easter."

Bethanis said the hospital allows only family members to visit the patient at this time.

"Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts and prayers," Bethanis said. "Bob still has a long road to go, so keep praying for his recovery."

George Adams April 19, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I find it appalling that the fact that a man is fighting for his life and another's family may lose their father, yet that has become a footnote to the fact that there were off duty police officers inside the bar when it happened. I was not present and I will not speak for those who were or were not there, therefore I will not say that the officers were or were not involved. I can say that as it sounds, there was serious over-reaction thanks to the help of serious over-drinking. For that, there will justifiably be serious consequences. If there were BPD officers there, who watched the attack, then they should be held liable for their inaction as well. BUT It is irresponsible to spread baseless accusations about this incident. No investigation has been reported, but I would guess that there's more investigation going on than we all know. However, I think that accusation is not as important as the fight that is now taking place at Jersey Shore. I don't know Mr. Bethanis, but I pray for his family and everyone invloved that things work out well.
naomi April 21, 2012 at 10:59 PM
praying for bobby. a long recovery awaits. there better be investigations going on within the police. thats bologna... are they not swore in to serve and protect always? guess no one cares someone almost died, instead of being heros.. they were cowards.
BeyondReality April 21, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Naomi, Why do you say they were cowards? Do you have some information that the rest of us werent privy to? What makes you think they were even present during the altercation considering it took place outside the bar and not inside? Since you seem to have this secret info that no one else knows you are morally obligated to contact the Barnegat Police and speak to internal affairs to give this information over. If you dont you are just as responsible as a person who sat there and let it happen. But if you are just making assumptions, well we all know what leave us looking like. So far as I have seen not one person witnessed the officers standing by and watching, not even one person has said they even saw it happen due to the fact that it happened outside. So Naomi do you have something you would like to share with the class?
Jennifer Peterson April 26, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Did I miss an update? This is over 2 weeks ago...
Katia Raina April 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Yes you did :) Here is one from two days ago: http://barnegat.patch.com/articles/update-victim-of-lighthouse-tavern-beating-moved-out-of-intensive-care

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