NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) reported in a press release that a young man had committed suicide by jumping from the top floor of the Morris Street parking deck on March 25 at approximately 3:10 p.m.
That young man was 21-year-old Pascual Perez, known affectionately by his friends and family as "Paco."
Perez was a resident of Piscataway and attended Rutgers University New Brunswick for his freshman year of college. Although he did not continue at the university, he continued to live and work in the New Brunswick/Piscataway area.
According to J.T. Miller, the public information officer for the NBPD, “There is no evidence to suggest that foul play was a contributing factor to this incident.”
An avid soccer fan and music lover, Perez will be remembered as having a big heart and being a relentlessly loyal friend.
Thanks to a GoFundMe page set up by his family, they were able to raise thousands of dollars in just a few days to help alleviate the costs of putting on a memorial service.
Pascual Perez had recently done the same when a friend of his had died suddenly, according to one of the comment's on his online obituary.
"This past winter, another excellent friend of theirs passed on quite unexpectedly and tragically," wrote the mourner. "Wanting to pay tribute to his fallen friend, and to help the family, Paco generously set up a 'Go Fund Me' fund to help the family with expenses."
A candlelight vigil was held in in his honor on Thursday, March 30 at Sturbridge Park in Piscataway.
Perez died after jumping from the deck, which is connected to Rockoff Hall, a privately-owned building that is home to many Rugers students.
Sadly, this is not the first time the local community has been forced to grapple with a loss like this. Since 2014, five people have committed suicide by jumping from one of New Brunswick’s eight public parking decks.
After one of the fatalities, signs were installed in the elevators of all parking decks providing the contact information for the New Jersey Hopeline.
As New Brunswick Today reported, these signs provide a phone number for people who feel emotionally distraught to call and receive the help they need.