32 Minutes Later

In 32 minutes Rachel Ray can make a meal. In 32 minutes a situation comedy can create, and resolve a problem or make you laugh until you cry. In 32 minutes or less Dominos will deliver a pizza or it’s free. My point being a lot can happen in 32 minutes.

This is what happened in my world in 32 minutes.

On Friday, August 14th, I sent a text to my son at 10:39pm and asked if the football game was over?  At 10:49pm  got the response, “Almost.” At 11:02pm the parent who was picking up my son and his friend sent me a text saying she was on the way to get them. Satisfied all was well, I began to prepare for bed. At 11:11pm I had a call coming in that I almost did not answer, because it was an unfamiliar number. When I answered the official sounding voice on the other end asked if I was Denna XXXX, I automatically held my breath. When the voice identified himself as John Smith with Henry county EMS, a paramedic, and that he was “Working on” my son, time stopped along with my heart.
What? I asked in total disbelief. At that point my room felt like waves in the ocean and I was bobbing like a cork on the waves. Seasickness began to set in. I looked at my bathroom door as it rippled. I needed to get there to hold on. My steps only intensified my bout of sickness.
John said, he’s pretty banged up, his lip is split, he has some scrapes, but he’s ok; but we need you to come to the scene.”
Where is he? I’m on the way, I said.  Who did this to him, I asked? Why did they do this to him? I need to talk to my son!
He would not let me talk to him and only repeated, that he needed me to come to the scene where they were ASAP. But what he did do, was say they jumped my boy for his sneakers.
WHAT? The waves intensified. His shoes?
“Yes, ma’ma.” “How long will it take for you to get here?”

When I hung up the phone I was on autopilot. So many questions, so many visions in my head so much fear, anxiety and uncertainty flowing through me. My hands were shaking as if I had suddenly developed some sort of palsy. My mouth was dry and I can’t remember breathing.  I had to call a friend to me to keep me calm as I travelled. I was still in disbelief. My son was jumped by some boys and he requires medical attention. My God. I’m ready to wake up.
As I’m driving I’m thinking, I need to speak to my son. I need to speak to my son! This can’t be true. I called the friend that was with him.
“Nate, what happened?” Where is Ryan? Are you ok? Long impregnated pause. Hello?
“Yes, ma’am? These boys jumped Ryan because he would not give them his J’s.”
What, I asked again in disbelief. Who was it?
“I don’t know there was about 10 or 15 of them.”
The waves returned and slammed against me with hurricane force. What? What? What did you say? HOW MANY? Oh my GOD!
Where were you? Where is he? Oh my God! Where are they now?
“They ran.” Nate said. He said they didn’t know any of the mob.
Oh my GOD!
On Friday August 14th after a football game while him and his friend were waiting for the friends mom to pick them up, my son was jumped by a mob of boys. It’s believed at the very least it was 10 boys. That kept playing in my head. 10-15 boys jumped my son for his shoes and the paramedics have called me. I don’t remember hanging up with Nate.

When I pulled up there were so many people standing around, 3 police cars and  an ambulance. All I could think is, OMG they are here because something has happened to MY son. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. As I rounded my truck, my eyes immediately found my son. Slow motion set in as I walked towards him. What is he wearing? That’s not what he had on when he left. The closer I got I realized his t-shirt was gone and his white undershirt was blood stained. Oh my God, this is real. My child is hurt. I looked at all the faces turn towards me and watch me as I approached the scene. My child’s head was down, I needed to see his face, his eyes. My heartbeat is now deafening in my ears, I seem to be taking long strides or maybe I’m running, I’m not sure which.  When I reach him, I lift his head to see his face, his eyes. I can always tell by his eyes. Although he quickly darted his eyes away from me, in the 3 seconds we locked, my heart broke. It shattered like glass falling on cement. My chest felt like someone had my lungs in a vise grip. I couldn’t breath.  I knew the paramedics were talking to me but their voices sounded as if I was underwater. They had questions. I had questions.  This is not my life! This can’t be happening right now. My God this can’t be happening right now. I have my child’s blood on my hand because he was jumped by at least 10-15 animals, because they wanted the shoes off of his feet. Wake up! WAKE up!
So many conversations going on. Mine with my son. The paramedics with me. His friends mom talking, other people saying things. I hear them, but the thoughts in my head were, his face is so red. That’s an abrasion on his forehead. My God, look at his mouth. That’s not his mouth. His lips were covered in blood and 3 times their normal size. What is that hanging from his mouth? Dear God that’s the inside of his lip hanging on the outside. What is that on his shoulder? What is that? No Lord, tell me that’s not a shoe print on his shoulder. They stomped his shoulder. That’s a shoe print they stomped his shoulder. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. You have to keep it together. That’s a shoe print on my child’s shoulder. Don’t cry. The waves returned. Not now. Wait where is his shirt? He’s sitting in a bloodied undershirt. They took his shirt as well? What are those red lines all over his neck and chest? Scratches and welts? Yes, those are scratches and welts. It looks like a game of red pick up sticks on his chest. Are those injuries on his arm or blood from his head and mouth? I reach for it to check and he jumps. I cry. But I force the tears and sound down into my throat and they settle there, I can’t swallow it. My throat feels paralyzed. I can’t move the golf ball size glob of tears and wails. Swallow it! Swallow it! I feel the glob move to my chest and sits there like the worst case of heartburn ever. Or maybe that’s what actual heartbreak feels like. I draw him carefully into my chest, and whisper I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. You are going to be ok. I feel a quarter size lump on the side of his head. I have to swallow again. I look down and his left hand is resting on his thigh. And I can see his finger is broken because it’s multidirectional. His pants are still there, no holes, no blood, but wait are those shoe prints. They stomped my child. I have to swallow another glob of tears, wails of pain and disbelief. Then there are his feet only covered by his socks. They really did jump him for his sneakers. Swallow.
Somehow, I managed to hear, someone say, “That man sitting inside stopped them.” I don’t know if that person was speaking to me or someone else. But I quickly turned as asked, who? She pointed him out. He was sitting inside the restaurant looking out of the window at us with his wife and daughters. I reluctantly released my son and went inside to talk to him and thank him.

I can’t even… It’s hard to even replay what he said in my mind to type it. It breaks my heart. Out of the 20-30 people in the restaurant Brooks (I later found out was his name) and his wife, Angela, were the only ones that went to help my child. No one outside did anything to help him. No one inside did anything except watch. Angela said they stood there and pointed and watched as my son was being punched, kicked, and slammed by at least 10 animals. Who the fuck could do that? I would never watch as something like that happen to someone else’s child. I’m so thankful for this man and for him not being afraid act and for surly saving my sons life. He said at the point he got to the door the mob of animals were standing my child up to inflict more punishment. When they saw Brooks coming they ran. As they ran they looked back and laughed. They were LAUGHING! Can you believe that. They were laughing. Thankfully Angela managed to get the license plate of the car they drove  off in. Angela and Brooks helped my son up and into the restaurant and called 911. I’m so thankful and grateful for them. They were his guardian angels that night. Thankful and grateful are such weak words for what I feel for them. They literally saved my child’s life. And they said they would do it again in a heartbeat. They checked on him everyday for over a week. And have done everything they could as far as the criminal case.

They punched my boy. They kicked my boy. They stomped my boy. They punched my boy. They kicked my boy. They stomped my boy. They punched my boy. They kicked my boy. They stomped my boy. They punched my boy. They kicked my boy. They stomped my boy. They punched my boy. They kicked my boy. They stomped my boy. They punched my boy. They slammed my boy. They kicked my boy. They stomped my boy. They punched my boy. They kicked my boy. They slammed my boy. They stomped my boy. They punched my boy. They punched, kicked and stomped my boy for as long as it took you to read, they punched, kicked and stomped my boy. So if you got tired of reading that over and over and over again, just close your eyes and try to imagine how he felt when those words were happening to him. For every 1 punch, kick, and stomp you read he was actually punched, kicked and stomped at least 5 times. Remember there was a mob of at least 10. And they were not taking turns. How do I know how long? I watched the surveillance video with the detective. I had to know. I wish I didn’t know. The waves, the choking globs, the feelings of pain, anger, heartbreak, helplessness, and fear were tangible. That was my child.

I still can’t believe this really happened. And it happened to my family in McDonough Georgia at a Huddle House after a football game. But it did. I know it did because when I look at my son I see the  cast that he must wear for another 4 weeks.

When he asked if he could go to the game my first thought was to say no. He had a good week so how could I say no? I said yes. Maybe if I had just said no.

We have had several ER, urgent care and doctor visits since then. I feared he had some kidney damage because of his low back pain that persisted, thankfully not. His physical scars are healing well. He is in good spirits and has been able to talk about what happened. I actually think he may be better mentally than I am. I’m almost terrified when he’s away from me and my nerves stay on edge until I lay eyes on him.
I shared this with you all for 2 reasons. The first, it’s cathartic for me. Second, at 10:39 pm everything was fine and 32 minutes later…my heart stopped. Actually in less than 32 minutes my son experienced something I have only seen on television or read about in the newspaper. I was aware these things happen but not in McDonough Georgia outside of a bustling Huddle House restaurant, to my child? Well, yes it does and it did.

We black out our profile pictures and hashtag mantras but it’s not until something like this happens to someone you know and love that you really start to grasp the mental and emotional pain and damage that an event like this carries long after the actual event. No my child was not killed by and overzealous rogue cop, thank God, but what happened to him was earth shaking and world changing not only for him, but for me as well as his siblings. When I was turning my bed down he was being beaten. When I was putting on my satin cap, he was being stomped. When I was plugging in my phone he was being kicked. All at the hands of people who look like him. And had it not been for concerned, caring total strangers, who look nothing like him, I could have received a very different phone call. Those that look like him, only looked at him. You have to be more than, hashtags and keyboard activists. It requires actual actions. It takes stopping to talk to our youth whether you know them or not. It takes not being afraid to take a chance. It means if it happened to me it can happen to you. You all know I practice what I preach. I take the time to talk, correct, redirect and impart wisdom. And I know I’m not the only one but we need more people to care and to place value not only on your child but those who share your community. Your village.

I thank God for as bad as it is, it’s not worse. We live in an unpredictable, unforgiving, uncaring world. Take nothing and no one for granted, because 32 minutes later, the waves could start.


73 thoughts on “32 Minutes Later

  1. My God in heaven… Wow. Thank God Ryan is ok. Not to go off topic but cousin you have a talent for the written word. I felt like I was reading a novel or something, I couldn’t take my eyes away, I couldn’t move. I held my breath when you first saw your son. I teared up when you touched him and he flinched in pain. I got angry when it was realized only one person tried to help in a resteraunt full of people. This is my fear, not only the police doing something to my son and husband but my son being hurt or killed over something so trivial as some damn shoes. And you are so right. It takes more than keyboard activists to make a change and it starts in the home. Whew cousin, you tokk me on an emotional journey!

  2. My husband was actually the one who pulled one of the boys off your son that night. We did leave because my 16 yr old daughter was there and freaking out because she goes to HCHS. She was afraid that “the little white girl” would get jumped at school cause her dad helped protect another student. It’s a jacked up crazy world we live in. I have thought of this night and your son many times over the last few weeks. Out of a crowded restaurant 4 adults went out the door without regard to our own safety. I know the other lady got the tag number and I’m surprised they didn’t get them that night but then again I’m not. It was a scene from a nightmare that I wish had not happened to your son. My husband had actually already walked out once because they were standing around outside looking like they were just waiting for something to go down. I’m telling you that just to say they already knew someone was watching them inside when your son and his friends walked over to huddle house, they were waiting for a victim. It just makes me sick. Again I hate that this happened to your family.

    • Hi Beth, thank you and your husband. I had no idea you all helped my son. I only heard about the 2 I mentioned. But please know your care and concern are VERY appreciated!! Peace and blessings to you and yours!

      • Absolutely! Like I said we didn’t stay as my daughter was frightened and he was in good hands, but please know your family has been in our prayers!

    • First off I do not remember seeing anyone other than one gentleman who was a probation officer hesitate to go out as my husband and I ran past him then after I ran after the car to get the tag number and screamed for him to please write it down he took out his phone and walked back inside. I’m sorry but I had two young girls inside as well but we stayed and took care of this young man while others looked at us. The video from huddle house seen by authorities and his mom tells the real story. Sad but true we need to be advocates for these kids as they look to us for support not to be afraid to step in when needed. Teach our children the right thing to do. When I went to help him dazed and scared and confused said son I’m a teacher my husband and I are here now to protect you this young man reached fory hand. I cried. Sorry but this needs to be addressed where no matter of the color no matter of the situation we are adults and this was a child that needed help.

  3. I’m so terribly sorry that this happened to your son. Thank God he is ok ! I cried as I read your post. I, myself graduated from HCHS in 1987 and never had a single fear of being at a Friday night football game. It sickens me to think that in a little over 30 years, the community that I grew up in has come to this.The thought never crossed my mind that others might have the intent to steal from
    or harm me. Not in a million years would I have believed that a group of 10-15 would cause physical harm to me for the shoes that were on my feet.

    I have 3 beautiful children that would say I’m way over protective. I contemplated sharing your son’s story, but I continued to think this was something that could save their lives or the lives of another. I did read every heart breaking word (through many, many tears) of the horrible things that happened to your son. Our children are faced with so many things that we as parents never dealt with. It’s not fair that they be fearful of attending a football game, the clothes or shoes they wear. I pray for your son, his recovery and the family. My heart truly breaks for you and him.

    • Hello clk,
      Yes this is a different world our kids are growing up in. I would use this as a teachable moment. For your kids. Thank you for your kind words. Peace and Blessings

  4. My heart physically ached as I read your words. As the mother of 4 and grandmother of 6, I can not phathom what you or your son endured so senselessly. Over shoes!!! Our world is so overcome with evil and hate! Video games and television and lack of parental guidance has desensitized our future generations from feeling anything. They don’t respect authority, feelings, each other or even human life. I am so sorry for what happened to your son. It breaks my heart. I hope all of the thugs have been caught and are convicted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. I will pray for healing for you and your son, physically, mentally and spiritually. I am a 55 year old woman battling Stage IV breast cancer but I can assure you I would have been right in the middle if that situation doing what I could to protect your son. I would eexpect someone to do the same for mine. Godspeed to you all and again I am so sorry this happened.

    • Wow Rhonda! Thank you for your kind words and support. I am so sorry for the challenge that you face. I have been down that road with 2 friends. I pray for your healing and strength. I pray for a competent kind and caring medical team. Thank you again and peace and blessings to you.

  5. Can you email me your contact info please @bwcareHenry@gmail.com care of Because We Care Henry County! A police report would be helpful to get to the bottom of this because there is very little awareness of this incident.

  6. I cannot believe that this happened to you and your family. How absolutely heart breaking. I cannot imagine the pain and fear that coursed through you that night. I also find it absolutely disgusting that we’ve not heard about this on the news. I’m afraid that’s the case of the media, now. They pick and choose which story matters. Well, your story matters. I am so glad he wasn’t hurt any worse than he was. God Bless.

  7. This broke my heart. I live in McDonough Georgia and as I was reading this you’d think it happened in Atlanta or some other big city. Not here, not in McDonough. I am so sorry your son, you and the rest of the family had to go through that. I know I would have ran out to break it up if I had been there. Another sad thing is I never heard anything about this until now and as I said before, I live here. No one should be afraid to go to school or a school sponsored activity. No one should be afraid because of what they are wearing on their bodies or feet. No parent should have to worry about what they buy for their children. Now we have to worry if we buy them something, is it going to get them beat up. I don’t know what to say except that I’m so sorry this happened. I wish I could go back in time and stop this from happening to him. Thank God there was someone there that thought enough about a human life to step in to save your son as you’ve said if they hadn’t, things could have been so much worse. Praying for you and your son for peace, strength and healing.

    • Thank You TeresaF, I appreciate your heartfelt kind words and support. It’s good to know there are people that care. There is no way I would hesitate to help a child in that situation. Blessings to you.

  8. I am so sorry this happen to your son. . I pray for healing of his body, mind and most of all his heart. May God continue to bless him, you and your family.

  9. We are having a discussion on your son’s attack on Because We Care Henry County-Atlanta South of Facebook getting the word out right now. People are outraged the public was not informed. With a tag number an arrest should be made!

    • This is the first I’ve heard of this and I live in McDonough. Why were none of us notified that something like this? I don’t have children in school anymore but it would have still been nice to know what’s going on in our community.

    • I learned today that an arrest was made. And If not today there will be at least 2 more. And hopefully more to come. Thank you for caring and helping get the word out. I never thought more than my 40 blog followers and maybe 100 of my FB friends would even see this post. Thank you!

      • I’m so happy to hear that the police have caught one maybe 2 of the people that attacked your son. I hope they catch all of them before they stop. Please keep us updated on their progress in catching them and more importantly how your son and you are doing. I live in McDonough, I’m a mother of 3 and a Nana to 4 with 1 on the way. If you ever need anything, even just to talk feel free to reach out. I’ll help in any way I can.

    • Thank you for helping in this situation. This is a fantastic family and are looking forward to more being done so that this does not happen again

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad your son is ok overall. My daughter was at that same Huddle House after the Ola high football game. I asked her today if she knew anything about it, and she was not aware that this had happened. She must have left before it happened, thank the Lord. But this is terrible and for the public not to have known about it is awful. I hope they find everyone of those kids and full punishment is given.

  11. I’m so sorry this happened to your son and you….this SAME EXACT thing happened to my son in McDonough as well except the angry thugged mob decided to hit him in the head with a brick….we are going to court in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to see them go to jail…I hope your son gets justice

    • I’m sorry this happened to your child too. This is just crazy. I had no idea stuff like this was going on in McDonough. I’ve lived here for years and had no idea. Praying for you and your family too.

    • Wow Syphon, I’m sorry you and your son had to experience such a horrific event as well. I hope your child is well, both mentally and physical as well as yourself. I hope you get justice. I wonder if its any of the same people involved? Blessings to you all.

  12. I am stunned that this happened in our “little ole Henry County” and I am in tears from your words over what your son went through. I am ashamed of the people inside Huddle House who only watched and grateful beyond measure to the one who stood up and did something. I know that my husband and I would have done the same. Never could I imagine sitting and doing nothing while someone is beaten. I hope the ones who did this are prosecuted and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. I am stunned that we are only hearing about this thru your blog and nothing on the news or radio. Just know that this is making its way around social media and people are outraged that this has happened in our community!!!

  13. To you, Mom: This was heartbreaking to read. My heart literally ached & tears fell as I read your words. I could not fathom seeing one of my own sons like this. I hate that you & your son are having to go through this, especially right here in our own town. I pray for complete physical healing for your son & for emotional healing for you. I pray that those responsible are found & that justice is appropriately served. Keep your chin up, momma. Our community is now outraged by this & you have many, many more prayers coming your way from us all.

    To everyone, reading this: Folks, this is happening in OUR community! Parents, talk to your kids. Show them this mother’s story. Make them aware. Teach them differently. Raise them right. Teach them to have love & respect for each & every person they meet, regardless of race, creed, religion, income, social status,etc. That also includes respecting their personal property & personal space. Teach them that even if their “friend(s)” have a stupid idea (like jumping someone over a freaking pair of shoes) that they don’t have to join in. Teach them to stand up for what is right, not follow the crowd, even if it makes them unpopular for doing so.

    And adults, be adults! Out of a packed restaurant, only a few people were concerned about or brave enough to intervene. That restaurant full of people doing absolutely nothing is a lot of what is wrong with this world. You see injustice. You see wrongdoings. You see pure evil. And instead of taking action & saying enough is enough, you turn your eyes & think to yourself, “This is not my problem. I will let someone else go handle it.” No! This is your problem & my problem b/c it is OUR COMMUNITY! Wake up & have a heart for others instead of for yourself. Had those 30 people that were in that restaurant cared more about your child’s well-being than their DAMN hashbrowns, maybe, just maybe, some of those teens could have been caught on the spot. Maybe some of them would have learned a very important lesson. Maybe they wouldn’t be laughing at the expense of your helpless son, lying there in his own blood. Maybe your child wouldn’t have had to endure the beating, stomping, punching, scratching, etc. that he endured from 10-15 others all at once. These 10-15 teens BEAT this one teen over a pair of shoes. Not one on one, but 10-15 against 1. And, out of a restaurant FULL of people, only a few took a stand. Everyone else just watched or pretended they didn’t see what was going on & they should certainly be ashamed of their actions (or lack thereof, I should say). If this had been their child, surely they would have been outraged & hurt at the lack of help they received in their time of need.

    Again, Mom, I am so very sorry this happened. I hope that our law enforcement will be diligent in bringing those involved to justice. And, I hope that by you sharing this, that it will bring awareness to our community & it’s citizens. We should all watch out for each other, not just for ourselves. That is what a COMMUNITY does.

    God bless you & your son!

    • I wish this was like Facebook and I could click on “like”. I said basically the same thing you did when I shared this mothers heartbreaking story on my timeline. We as parents owe it to our children and the community to not let things like this go on. If a parent doesn’t talk to their children and knows they do things like this they’re just as guilty as the ones doing the punching, kicking, stomping and scratching. I certainly hope these teens are caught and punished. We can’t let this go. I’m surprised this is the first I have even heard of something like this happening here in McDonough and by reading some of the comments it’s not the first. We as citizens need to get together and try to make sure it’s the last. I’m beyond words that out of a full restaurant only a couple of people helped this poor kid. I know for a fact that if my husband and I had been there the one guy wouldn’t have been alone. My husband would have been out there in a heartbeat. We need to stop this.

    • Amen Mara! Very well said. We have to take action. I always say if someone sees either of my kids doing wrong STOP them talk to them bring them home or call me. I’m of the old school way of raising kids. However catches you doing wrong can check you and then you will also get it when you come home. Thank you for your support. Peace and blessings.

  14. Oh dear God. No I did NOT get tired of reading “they kicked and stomped my boy”. It would be a scrolling nightmare in my head for the rest of my life.

    I am so sorry to you and your son. I am just so sorry to read that.

  15. I am sorry this happened to your son. I, myself, graduated from UGHS in 2008 & my aunt teaches at HCHS. This disgusts me, that only a small portion ran out to save your son while others watched. If someone would’ve stepped in sooner the amount of damage done may have been prevented. I wish your son nothing but the best and I pray for a speedy recovery. I .sorry this happened I truly am.

  16. Pingback: 32 Minutes Later | Siennasista

  17. I’m so sorry. I read this and cried. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until I got to the end. I so sorry this happened to your baby and I’m so mad that these boys laugh as they ran away like some little punks. I will share you story. Everyone needs to hear this and know that just as their child could be in danger, their child might be the dangerous one.

    • Aww siennasista, thank you so much. I appreciate your care and concern. And you are right people on other side need to feel the pain. I’m hoping some child/young person will read this and instead of participating in this type of behavior, decides otherwise and will actually help someone rather than hurting them.

  18. Living in this community for a short while, I’m blown away. I have a 13 year old and 8 year old. I’m overwhelmed with tears in reading this. I’m so sorry this has happened to this family. This is something that will change there lives forever. I’m even more upset that no one was aware of this until now. This should have been reported to make all families aware everywhere of this.
    Mcdonough seems like such a peaceful area. This only makes me even more fearful that no matter where you are, that no one is safe. This also seems that it was sweaped under the rug and not put out there and investigated like it should have been. Maybe if it would have happened to member of authority it would have been. Which sickens me to think that bit seems possibly true. Our whole community should have been aware and made known to help keep watch and our families more safe. Look at was has happened here!!! With no report or anything announced by know one till now and FB of all places. It’s sad and sounds like someone doesn’t care enough to make it known and do what’s rite. Hopefully it will be now!!! Those horrible people can be found and the family have some since of peace with this.
    Prayers with the family and that poor boy who suffered from this.

    • Thank you Lindsay. Keep your babies safe. And let them know there are no material possessions worth being jumped or possibly killed. McDonough is still a good place. Crime is everywhere you cant run from it. Just be aware. Blessing to you and yours.

    • May GOD bless you and your son! I pray he will bring healing physically and emotionally! Thank you for sharing your story and bringing this to all of our attention! God bless those who were brave enough to help this young man. GOD, please bring those responsible for this act to justice! Amen

  19. I can’t even think of the just words to express and console you, your son, your family and your community. Time is definitely needed here to experience all the emotions you are and will go through before you can come out the other side. What a horrific experience, my heart goes out to all of you. I pray you never encounter such ugliness again…I’m so sorry!! My wish for you and your family is that you are touched by Grace and somehow someway something positive is formed from this. Not all of life is ugly…

    • Thank you Deb, we have faced adversity before. Our glasses are always half full. And there was good in this, someone did help. I’m grateful. I’m grateful that 5 minutes ago I was reminding my son, it’s trash day 🙂 and I’m not fighting grief. Thank you!

      • Oh that is wonderful to hear, I am grateful too! Funny how asking him to take out the trash is now so meaningful…thank you for updating me and I send continued blessings to all of you! 🙂

  20. I am so very sorry to hear of this … I am in utter disbelief. On THAT corner of all places in McDonough. I graduated HCHS several years ago and just couldn’t imagine this. I can’t say that I am sorry enough.
    😦 I can’t believe this is what McDonough is coming to….

  21. Like everyone else reading your story, I am deeply sorry this happened to you and your son. May God heal your son physically, spiritually and emotionally from this attack. I also pray all the young people involved will be found and receive the consequences of their behavior.

  22. I had tears rolling down my eyes reading this. I am so sad that anyone had to suffer like that and sad that we have people around that would hurt another person like this.

    I am ANGRY that we have not seen this in the news. This is our community!!!

    Praying for you and your family.

    • Thank for your kind words Henry Citizen. Unfortunately crimes happen everyday that we don’t hear about. Since we have gone through this I have learned that this has happened several other times in our community. Thank you for your concern.

  23. My heart hurts for you and your family, I went thru so many emotions reading your story- anger, hurt, sorrow, more anger and i was left feeling sad with an empty spot in my chest.
    More than anything I kept running last Friday night thru my head because i was on the way home from the Ola vs Locust Grove game when this happened. Although, I live in mcdonough both of my kids go to school in Locust Grove. I had my oldest transferred to Locust Grove his junior year because of a few issues that happened at the school, that i felt were covered up and not dealt with appropriately, and have since had my 2 youngest transferred there as well.
    All i have been thinking to myself is- did I see anything, was there a crowd, a lot of teenagers together. But i didn’t see anything, because if I had, i would’ve stopped to help.
    I too am of the mentality it takes a village to raise a child, it’s time people stepped up instead of stepping out. These are OUR children being hurt, harassed, beaten and killed by someone else’s children.
    As i read your story, i felt the emotions you described, i went thru those very emotions you described as i read every word. Left feeling empty, and my heart hurts so much for you and your family. If there is anything i can do to help, please let me know.
    We as adults have to come together, take action and take our community back! We have to come together to teach these children that taking what is not your is NOT acceptable, hurting others is NOT acceptable and violence will NOT be tolerated.

    • Maria, I’m glad you could FEEL my words. That’s what has to happen. People have feel, so they can care. When you care you want to be involved. When you are involved I think we will have fewer incidences like this. Not only do the adults have to care, but our kids as well. Blessing to you.

  24. This is every parents nightmare. Getting that late night phone call. I don’t live in that area anymore, I’m currently in another state, but still have family there. Unfortunately I have had to live this nightmare. In February my son was jumped where we live, they didn’t take his shoes, they took $30. Unlike your situation we didn’t get called to the scene, my son was unconscious so it was a few hours later and the ER called. Longest. Drive. Of. My. Life. 2 separate hospital stays, surgery, and a long recovery, I can say we are all healing. Hang in there. Talk about it. And take cues from your son. My husband is having a very difficult time with this. My son wants to put it behind him.. The police said the fact that they knocked him out probably saved his life, can you call being hit that severely a blessing?
    In our case also, none of it was ever reported or heard in the media. We found out afterwards that at least 4-5 other kids had the same thing happen previously, not quite as severe as with my son, but all jumped and beat. And that’s just from people we know. They knew what they were doing though, planned perfectly not to be caught on the surveillance cameras.

    • Wow Gina, I’m sorry your family experienced this. I’m thankful your son is doing well. As I am thankful my son did not require surgery. As if its not hard enough to be a teen with out all of these extreme extras. I pray that your family can put this behind you and move forward in peace. Thank you for sharing your story. Peace and blessing to you all.

  25. I’m so sorry this happened to your son 😦 I happened to be in the huddle house when this happened and everyone was so upset inside!! Several of the men ran outside as soon as they realized what was happening!!! My husband went running but by the time he got out there the other man had already pulled them off!!! A few girls we knew there from Ola was crying !!! I couldn’t imagine why anyone could be so mean to this boy!!! The police was called immediately and the couple that got out there first brought him in and got ice for his lip and got him some water to drink!!! I hate that any mother would ever have to go through this!!! I have prayed for that sweet boy since that night!!! It seemed like a night mare when it was going on!!! I’m again so so sorry this happened !!! It broke my heart to see him sitting there with blood running down his chin 😦 scary night for everyone involved

  26. I am so sorry for what happened to your son. We drive by that Huddle House all the time, and I never imagined something like this would happen here in my community and that almost no one would step in to help – God bless those who did and SHAME on those who didn’t. This is such a frightening thing – I have two new 12th graders so I can imagine what it must be like. This should be reported in the local papers and on the news. These kids should be arrested and serve some time before they get even more out of hand. What is becoming of our society?! Hoping your son is healing both inside and out. I know this will affect him for a long time to come.

  27. Wow unbelievable, i live in Stockbridge and this makes my blood boil, have the police found anyone, or do you have any names. I would like to check around for these guys and ask them a few questions

  28. I can’t even imagine what you felt at that moment. I’m glad he’s OK and healing. And thank God for people who ACT when they see something that’s not right. Wow.

  29. I too, live in the area, and this story made me cry. If I had been there, believe me, I would have intervened….all 5’1″ of me. I hope they arrest and prosecute every person who was involved to the fullest extent. Prayers for your son and your family!!!

  30. Praying for the physical recovery for your sweet baby Ryan and the emotional damage that those awful people caused for your family. God bless y’all ❤

  31. Many prayers are with you and your son. And may the perpetrators one day feel loved enough to heal their brokenness. Healthy souls filled with love and peace could have never done this. May you be comforted by the book of Psalms and may your son heal more and more each day.

  32. Hi Bliss,
    After reading your blog post through a friend who posted it to Facebook, it has weighed heavy in my thoughts. I have shared it with friends and family. I pray you both are continuing to heal. Do you think you could do an update on yourselves as well as the case? We’re any of these…. Thugs caught? All the best to you!

    • Hi Soccer mom, thank you for your kind words. I apologize for the delay in response, I haven’t had a chance to get back to the blog in a bit. Yes, I will post an update by the weekend. Please check back. Thank you for caring enough to follow up.

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