Crimes of Intolerance
|Martin Barillas||January 7th 2012|
Cutting Edge Senior Correspondent
A 22-year-old man, who is described as having autism, was assaulted and injured on January 4 in Lawrence, Kansas. Standing outside of a local Starbucks café, A.J. Alexander said that the perpetrator approached him in downtown Lawrence and struck him in the head, leaving a visible bruise on his left eye. Following the vicious attack, witnesses at the coffee house told the victim’s father, Tom Alexander, that the assailant “came out of nowhere” and struck the hapless youth.
Tom Alexander added that AJ is incapable of defending himself and that there was no reason why he should be attacked. AJ said that he was listening to music at the time when he was punched in the head. "I've never been sucker punched in my life," averred AJ. See video here.
The Alexander family came from California approximately twenty years ago. At that time, AJ was apparently unable to speak because of his condition, but with the help of the local school system, he is now communicative. AJ holds a job and lives with his parents. "AJ could have been at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Tom Alexander. "But if he was singled out because he was acting like AJ, that's a pretty bad thing." AJ says that despite the assault, “I’ll be okay.”
After the attack, AJ’s assailant fled the scene. The alleged perpetrator has been described as a Caucasian, wearing a winter hat and dark trousers, as well as a shirt and jacket emblazoned with the emblem of Kansas University. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers in Kansas at 785-843-8477.
In a similar vicious assault, a 20-year-old vocational student was viciously beaten this week in Circleville OH. In what the local school district described as an “altercation,” Braxton DeVault was beaten while he waited for a bus to take him to the Pickaway Ross Vocational School in the south-central Ohio town. Braxton, like AJ Alexander, suffers with autism as well as epilepsy. He blacked out following the attack, and woke up later with blood streaming down his head. In that case, the school district says that the culprit has been punished. However, Braxton’s mother is seeking further redress. She wants the alleged assailant to be expelled.