NEWARK, N.Y. (WROC) — Shannon Davenport is speaking out after she says her autistic son was beaten in Newark Thursday evening.
A video clip posted online appears to show a group of people beating her 16-year-old son Caleb on a canal path in the village as he waited for her to pick him up. She says they stole his sneakers and cell phone, and left him unconscious on the trail.
Davenport says a man found Caleb on the trail and called 911. The beating was so bad, that he had to be taken to Strong Memorial Hospital to be treated for a concussion.
“(Caleb) is autistic and he has an intellectual disability and has a very apparent speech impediment,” she said. “So these kids knew this about him, and they still proceeded to attack him violently.”
Caleb is at home now, still healing. He did not want to appear on camera for this story, saying he was afraid of more of these kids seeing his face and coming after him.
Davenport says it’s been a whirlwind the past few days.
“And it’s just been— we’ve been so busy trying to get the word out to the Sheriff to find out who these people are… (going to) appointments for Caleb, we have to get counseling appointments, we’ve had to have follow-up appointments. He’s been taken out of school for two weeks because of the concussion. There are multiple contusions all over his head,” said Davenport.
Davenport feels the video posted by the bullies has had the opposite effect— leading to an outpouring of support from the community. A GoFundMe created to raise $250 so Caleb could get a new phone and new shoes has already raised nearly $2,000. Concerned Wayne County residents have also donated clothing and meals to the family.
Davenport says Caleb is not alone. She says this group of attackers seeks out disabled people and beats them, then post videos of their attacks online on TikTok and Snapchat.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office did say this is an active case. Detectives are looking into the incident, but no arrests have been made yet.