Richmonders stepped up to help the GRTC security guard brutally assaulted while patrolling the RVA Street Art Festival site back in November. Thursday, Jack Newsom was presented with a check he says will help him recover.
Newsom choked back tears as he spoke about the generosity of Richmonders.
"I want to thank everybody for what they did," he managed to get out.
Two months later, by appearance, it is difficult to tell he was the security guard savagely beaten while patrolling the grounds. He's recovered from the injuries he showed us right after the attack. The bruises around his neck, black eyes and pain from a broken tooth have healed.
"I'm feeling ok," he described. "I'm just glad I'm over it now."
Newsom says that was a slow process and he's just now getting the medical bills. His niece estimates those payments to be in the thousands. The final total of $8,125 raised by strangers couldn't come at a better time.
"It means a lot," Newsom added. "It will help me pay for some of the bills I have."
Councilman Jon Baliles, one of the organizers of the RVA Street Art Festival, says donations ranged from $3 to $300.
"I won't say I was surprised," Baliles explained. "I was amazed at the amount as the number kept growing people just never stopped giving."
Right now, the site is closed to the public. A sign on the gate says the closure is for security reasons.
"This site is pretty amazing and we're going to do whatever we can to get it open," Baliles told us when asked about the future of the grounds.
He says organizers are talking with the GRTC board and part of that discussion includes how to prevent an attack like this, should the site reopen. That concern is on Newsom's mind, as well.
"Just hoping it don't happen again," he said.
At this point, there is no timeline for a decision on whether or not the festival site will again open to the public.
So far, Richmond Police detectives have not made any arrests in this case. If you know anything that can help detectives solve it, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.
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