Published March 31, 2010
A recent Rutgers University graduate who was expected to start law school in the fall is clinging to life after he was beaten into a coma while vacationing in Cancun, Mexico.
Joseph "Zeke" Rucker and a friend went to the popular vacation spot two weeks ago to celebrate his graduation, but hours after they arrived the 21-year-old was found severely beaten about 40 feet away from the hotel's pool, CBS3.com reported.
"He has two huge skull fractures in the back of his head and he has internal bleeding in his brain and hematoma," Rucker's father Joseph told the Philadelphia station.
Rucker and his friend arrived in Cancun on March 15, and after a night out, they headed back to their hotel rooms, but Rucker decided to sleep on a lounge chair near the hotel's pool, his friend says.
A security guard found Rucker injured around 4 a.m. the next morning, the friend told CBS3.com.
Rucker's mother is devastated.
"It's heartbreaking. His eyes are open but not focused. We don't know if he even knows who we are," Annie Rucker told CBS4.com in Miami.
Rucker's parents left their home in Sewell, N.J., to be by their son's side in a Mexican hospital and then accompanied him while he was transferred to Miami.
They had given him the trip as a graduation present. Anne Rucker told CBS4.com she knew about the reported violence in Mexico, but she thought her son would be safe in such a populated tourist area.
She said the Mexican authorities seemed not to care about the incident.
"They're not compassionate," she said. "The police never even met with us."
Annie Rucker said after this incident, no one in their family plans to go to Mexico again.
"We have a daughter, and she will never go to Mexico," she said.