December 19, 2014

Elyria
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29°F
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Teenager severely beaten while leaving Corn Festival

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Police are investigating a weekend attack of a local teen that left him with injuries serious enough he may require plastic surgery, according to his father.

The incident occurred shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday as a 16-year-old walked home along Center Ridge Road from the city’s Corn Festival, according to his father, John Vincenzo.

As the teen reached the intersection with Ridge Plaza, a gold-colored car containing five teens pulled up, according to Vincenzo. Three of them got out of the vehicle and asked his son for a cell phone memory card, he told police.

The boy, who is a junior at Elyria Catholic High School, told his father that he was then punched and knocked to the ground, where he was repeatedly kicked in the head.

His father would not name his son, and police also declined, citing the boy’s age.

“One kid said he’d had enough, but the others kept going,” Vincenzo said of the attack.

Police Capt. Marti Garrow said the incident is under investigation, but no arrests had yet been made as of Monday.

“They’re working on it, but we haven’t developed any suspects as of yet,” Garrow said.

The three suspects made off with the teen’s cell phone and $12, and they also took his clothes and shoes, leaving him in his underwear and socks, according to Vincenzo.

The boy walked to a Center Ridge Road gas station, where he initially had trouble getting anyone to help him.

“Some people who came by in a car screamed at him to put some clothes on, and when he went into the gas station, they told him to get out of there,” Vincenzo said. “Another couple said, ‘This kid’s been assaulted’ and gave him a shirt.”

His son borrowed a phone and called his father. Vincenzo and police arrived at the gas station within minutes of each other.

The teen was taken to St. John Medical Center for evaluation. On Monday, he underwent further tests and exams at the
Cleveland Clinic facility at Oak Point Road in Amherst for what Vincenzo said was a broken orbital bone beneath his son’s right eye.

Doctors are trying to determine whether he’ll need plastic surgery, Vincenzo said.

Vincenzo said his son, who plays baseball at EC, is faring pretty well considering the ordeal.

“It could have turned out a lot worse,” Vincenzo said. “It wasn’t until this morning that I actually cried about it.”

A youth football program coach in North Ridgeville, Vincenzo has also coached at Holy Trinity School in Avon, and for an inner-city youth football program in Lorain that was linked to former Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Cribbs.

Garrow said police had heard about a possible earlier incident involving a couple confronted by a youth who fit a description given by Vincenzo of one of his son’s attackers as a male wearing a red baseball hat, and having a goatee and braided hair.

“We had heard a rumor about an earlier attack, but that might have happened in Elyria,” Garrow said. “We heard some basic information but hadn’t been able to confirm that.”

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.