NYU student was mugged on Ash Wednesday

Oliver Oliveros

By Cristina DC Pastor

It wasn’t that late – only 10:30 p.m. on February 22 when it happened.

On his way home from a quick dinner at a Chinese take-out eatery in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx, Oliver Oliveros found himself pinned to the ground and punched repeatedly in the back of the head.

“It would be the start of my ‘pasyon’ (referring to the retelling in verse the life and suffering of Jesus Christ),” he said with sarcasm almost a month after he was assaulted.

What happened next was totally unexpected by Oliver, a contributing editor of Broadwayworld.com, an online resource for theater. Broadway actors, publicists, and friends rallied their support. The get-well-soon messages came pouring in via email, Facebook and Twitter. Others offered money and prayers.

The kindness of friends was overwhelming to this NYU student, who is completing his M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication. A scenographer provided him a room as he was coming out of a theater late at night. A martial arts instructor offered to teach him basic self-defense. Another friend introduced him to a trauma counselor.

With Bernadette Peters

“I couldn’t believe the kindness of people from NYU, St. Barnabas Hospital, the Broadway community, and various theater companies in the Philippines,” he said when interviewed by The FilAm. “During those trying times, living alone in New York City was doubly hard. However, I’m glad I made it through this terrible ordeal.”

Last week, Oliver came face to face with “Godspell” actress Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, one of his celebrity well-wishers. It was an emotional meeting as they hugged. “How are you?” she asked. Oliver, who has nicely recovered from his bruises, muttered a choked-up “I’m fine, thanks.”

Oliver has not heard anything from NYPD’s Northern Bronx unit about the case, nothing about whether his attackers had been caught. In his initial report, he reported “two Hispanic males,” who crossed his path, may have been the culprit, but he was also quick to say he couldn’t see the guys. The police said it’s possible only one male was involved and the other just turned into the next corner.

“I was just crying on the pavement,” recalled Oliver. When the beatings stopped, he reached for his eyeglasses on the pavement and realized his wallet with $5 was gone. He stood up and ran toward his house, which is just a block away.

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