VISALIA, California (KGPE) – A Visalia teen was still hospitalized Monday after police said he was jumped by four men.
Cayden Newberry, a 15-year-old Mt. Whitney High School sophomore, was walking home around 11:30 p.m. on September 8 when he was attacked.
His mother said he was beaten so badly he needed to have emergency surgery on his head.
Sgt. Gary Williams with the Visalia Police Department said the teen was on South Mooney Boulevard when four males got out of their car to attack him.
He said investigators are still trying to figure out what led up to the assault.
“We have officers who are looking for some video surveillance in the area in attempts to be able to identify the subjects involved,” Williams said.
Williams said a passing motorist called in the assault. “The witness was driving by, did flash their lights at the suspects in attempts to get them off the victim. Once they saw the witness had showed up they fled in the vehicle,” he said.
Investigators don’t know why Newberry was targeted and said he was not robbed.
His mother did not want to go on camera, but sent a statement:
“Cayden is an all around American kid. He’s kind, loving, helpful, smart, and sweet. He’s the kind of young man that every mom dreams of! He loves all sports and has played football, baseball and basketball. He has dreams of being a professional basketball player and Is an aspiring player which has had to be put on hold due to his traumatic brain injury and recent surgery. The injuries would have led to his death without the intervention of medical staff. We are beyond blessed that his story can be one nothing short of a true miracle! We are pleading with the public for help that will lead to the swift justice of those whose motives appear to be nothing short of fulfilling evil pursuits against a young man that has done nothing but dedicate his life to being kind to others.
He has a long road to recovery and this has changed his life in major ways. We cannot wrap our heads around what would ever possess someone to commit such vile acts on an innocent young man who was just trying to walk home.”
Police said Newberry wasn’t doing anything wrong and the street he was attacked on is generally well lit and busy. They said it’s not an unsafe area.
“We’re not sure exactly why this happened. Hopefully as his memory continues to come back he will be able to provide us with some additional statements in regards to what started that altercation,” Williams said.
A GoFundMe is set up to help the family cover medical bills.