Jayne, Clapp and Francis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Francis, J.A.D.
Louis Manno, Nicholas Amodio, Vincent Mattiello and Anthony Marchitto were indicted for atrocious assault and battery on one Henry Schneider. There was a severance as to Marchitto and the remaining three were convicted. Manno and Amodio appeal.
The grounds assigned for reversal relate to certain alleged errors in the admission of evidence. At the trial it appeared
that Schneider was employed by Eisen Metal Products Company in Lodi, New Jersey, as a maintenance mechanic. This company had a collective bargaining agreement with a union of which Marchitto was the business agent. Schneider was a member of Marchitto's union, and prior to the incident out of which the indictment arose, he seems to have been engaged in organizational activities for a rival union.
Schneider testified that a few days before the assault, he met Marchitto and two men, whose names were not given, at a diner across the street from the plant, where they threatened him with physical harm on account of his union activities.
In the early morning of Monday, February 25, 1952, Marchitto, who claimed to be fearful of a strike at Eisen's after his conversation with Schneider, arranged to have a bus transport 30 or 35 men from Jersey City to Lodi. These men were not employees of the Eisen company. According to Marchitto, they were to be used to avoid a work stoppage in the event the strike occurred. Amodio was one of the passengers.
On arrival at Lodi the bus was parked in the vicinity of the plant. Some of the men remained in it; others alighted and went to the diner where Schneider and Marchitto had had the conversation already referred to.
Manno and Mattiello also had been requested by Marchitto to join the men and they appeared on the scene, having come in automobiles. Manno, Mattiello and Amodio knew each other before this day.
Schneider had been discharged by his employer on the previous Friday. However, his wife was employed by Eisen as well and on this Monday morning he undertook to drive her and a co-employee to work. Nearing the plant, he observed a number of men on both sides of the street in front of it and realizing that their presence was related to the labor trouble, he stopped the car at the next corner, which is about 200 or 250 feet away, and let his passengers out. Then he turned into the intersecting street and began to drive away.
After he had proceeded a short distance, another car overtook him from the rear and forced his car to the right, over the curb and into a tree. About seven men got out of that car and administered a severe beating to him. Then, after warning him to keep his mouth shut about union troubles, they said he would have his "head knocked off" his shoulders, and his "tongue ripped out" of his head if he talked.
He identified Manno, Amodio and Mattiello as being among his assailants. Amodio's confession, which was received in evidence, says that the female shop steward pointed Schneider out and "we got in Mattiello's Oldsmobile" and chased him. "He wouldn't get out of the car so they hit him in the car."
On cross-examination it appeared that Schneider was brought to Marchitto's attorney's office about five weeks later by Marchitto and another person, where he made a statement absolving Marchitto from participation in the actual assault. ...