Family of 15-year-old attacked with hammer angered by extent of injuries

By | June 15, 2020

A 15-year-old boy will remain in hospital for the forseeable future after being attacked with a hammer, and his family says they are grappling with his recovery and shocked that this happened to him.

The teen was hit in the head with a hammer while picking up food at a restaurant on Selkirk Avenue on May 30.

The boy’s aunt is still trying to come to terms what she says is the viciousness of the attack. CBC is not naming her to protect their privacy.

His aunt says he has part of his skull missing, 50 staples in his head, nerve damage to the right side of his body and is being fitted for a helmet she says he may have to wear for the rest of his life. 

“He can talk but he stutters a lot when he talks. Sometimes there are words he knows, words he wants to say but he can’t,” she said.

The family is hurt and mad to see the boy’s injuries, his aunt said.

According to his aunt, the teen doesn’t remember much about the attack. He does recall having a conversation with a man also standing in line for food, and he told family he blacked out after that — when he was hit in the skull with the hammer.

Police believe the attack was random and they are surprised it didn’t turn into a homicide.

‘We want to know what the motive was’

The boy’s family is trying to understand what could have motivated such violence.

“Our whole family is shocked that this happened to him because he is not a violent person. He doesn’t know how to fight. You can make him cry by yelling at him,” the aunt said. 

“We don’t know why this happened. We want to know what the motive was. Who could do this to such a gentle-spirited, mild-mannered child?”

The aunt says the teen is not part of a gang and has never been in trouble with the law. He’s a high school student at R.B. Russell Vocational High School.

“He loves going for bike rides, he likes playing video games and hide and seek, he loves his little brother and loves his family. We just can’t figure out why this guy did this to him,” she said.

The boy has suffered other tragedy in his life — his mother died two years ago. 

Arrest ‘makes it more real’

News of a 30-year-old man known to police being arrested and charged brings little comfort to the family.

It brings “some relief. But it makes it more real that this horrible thing really happened,” the boy’s aunt said.

His family doesn’t know what the future holds for the teen, or how long he will remain in hospital.

“He just wants to come home … but we can’t tell him when that will happen.”

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