Mother says her son with autism is latest to be attacked by group in Newark | WHEC.com

Mother says her son with autism is latest to be attacked by group in Newark

WHECTV
Created: May 17, 2022 11:13 PM

NEWARK, N.Y. (WHEC) — Some people in the Village of Newark tell News10NBC they're concerned for their safety.

Police are investigating multiple attacks along the Erie Canal Trail and believe these attacks are being committed by the same group.

One mom told News10NBC's Stephanie Duprey that her 16-year-old son, who has autism, was jumped by the group and it was caught on camera.

A video clip shows a group of people hitting and kicking someone on the ground. Shannon Davenport identified the person on the ground as her 16-year-old son, Caleb, who has autism. She said he came home last week with marks across his body and is scared to leave the house.

"It was heart-wrenching as a mother to see my child on the ground and all these kids just joined in kicking him in the head, stomping on his chest, he didn't want to tell anyone he has autism because he's afraid he'll be singled out," Davenport said.

Davenport said it happened last Thursday. She says a passerby found Caleb and called 911. The beating was so bad, Caleb had be taken to the hospital. He was treated for cuts, bruises and a concussion.

"Covered in bruises and contusions from head to toe, he had grass and dirt in his mouth," Davenport said.

During a Town Board meeting Tuesday night, outraged people asked the mayor what can be done, considering this isn't the first attack.

"All the people in this room, and then some to help solve this issue, it's not going to just be me or Sgt. Thompson or these board members to get through this," Mayor Jonathan Taylor said.

Newark Police Sgt. Jim Thomson did confirm they are investigating the attacks along with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

"A lot of these players are coming from outside the village so getting to know them is a challenge," Thomson said.

Davenport sent us the video. She said Caleb is recovering from his injuries, but mentally, he is traumatized.

"He's an all-around good boy, and he just wants everyone to be his friend," Davenport said.

During Tuesday night's meeting, police said they have made some arrests in these attacks, but are having trouble identifying the suspects because they're from out of town. Police wouldn't elaborate on the arrests but did say they're still investigating.

In the meantime, Newark Police are still searching for a new chief, and once the role is filled they can start making decisions around officers being on foot patrol.


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