Police: Man attacked because teens ‘were just bored’
NORTH COLLEGE HILL—Pat Mahaney was walking home Saturday with a six-pack of beer, looking forward to a quiet evening watching sports, when something hit him in the back of the head.
“The next thing I knew I woke up on my neighbor’s front step and the life squad was there,” the 45-year-old North College Hill resident said Wednesday.
Six teenagers “were just bored and were looking for something to do,” a police report said, when they ambushed Mahaney as he turned off Simpson Avenue onto Dallas Avenue. He was immediately knocked unconscious.
“I don’t remember anything,” Mahaney, 45, said as he recovered at his mother’s home. “I was walking home from the store—and ‘bam.’”
It was probably a blessing he was knocked out during the worst of the brutal attack—one of the teens even grabbed a can of beer and hurled it at his head.
The boys face felony charges of aggravated riot and felonious assault. The first five arrestees were: twin brothers Tyree and Terrell Mizzell, Lamont Champion and Daquan Cain, all 13-year-olds; and Michael E. James, 14.
The sixth and final suspect was arrested Tuesday. His name was not immediately available Wednesday.
All except one have been released from Hamilton County’s juvenile detention center and are on house arrest at their parents’ residences, court officials said.
The teens are scheduled for trial Aug. 24.
Mother of the Mizzell twins, Latasha Alford, 32, said that while not excusing her sons’ actions, they did feel peer pressure to go along with the other boys.
“They are deeply sorry for what happened,” she said. “They do feel bad. They do realize what they did was wrong.”
When police rounded up most of the teens, took them back to the police station and questioned them, they admitted Mahaney had done nothing to provoke being kicked and punched repeatedly in the face while he was helpless on the ground.
The boys told police they only stopped assaulting Mahaney when a neighbor began yelling at them and said he was calling police.
An officer who happened to be in the area responding to a call about dogs fighting spotted a crowd of people gathered at the corner of Dallas and Simpson. Several witnesses told the officer that Mahaney, who was covered in blood, “was jumped by six children,” the incident report states.
Mahaney was taken to Mercy Mt. Airy Hospital, where he was treated for four days before being released Tuesday. He suffered so many internal injuries that doctors had to insert a tube down his throat to remove all the blood from his stomach.
A tube remained in his right nostril Wednesday and blood continued to seep out of his head. His left eye was heavily blackened.
Mahaney has no health insurance and has been unemployed for “years,” he said. He is looking for factory work but with the slow economy, jobs are almost impossible to come by, he said.
He said he was taken aback by the age of his assailants.
“I didn’t think kids could do something like this,” he said. “They should be punished.”
Neighbors and police were stunned at the brutality of the attack.
“It was a heinous crime but it was not a hate crime,” North College Hill Police Chief Gary Foust said. Several residents called police, noting the suspects are black and inquiring whether Mahaney was specifically targeted because he is white. He was not, the chief said.
But police were struck by how cocky the boys were for their age.
“They were pretty arrogant in the interview with us,” Foust said. “It’s appalling. I think it’s despicable. This appears to be premeditated and there was no remorse on behalf of any of the assailants. Thirteen-year-olds ought to be playing basketball, not running the streets looking for ways to entertain themselves at the expense of somebody.”
Foust credited Mahaney’s neighbors for coming to his aid.
“If not for their assistance, we would not have been able to investigate and complete it with the arrests,” he said. “The community as a whole was not tolerable of the offense and were very instrumental in giving us the individuals involved.”
A wood plaque on Mahaney’s house reads: “Protected by Angels.”
Kita Hill, 26, who lives next door to Mahaney, said, “He is real sweet.
“He says ‘hi’ to me and my kids all the time. I think it is ignorant what happened to him. Why would kids jump on a man minding his own business? I think it is sad. I hope nothing like that happens again here,” Hill said. “I keep my kids inside unless I am outside to watch then. You just never know what might happen.”