Victim of savage Minneapolis beating suffers brain damage

We finally have more information about the horrific beating in Minneapolis last month outside Target Field, where a man was brutally attacked by a gang of as many as 12 people.

Although there has not been much reporting about the identity of the attackers, we do know that 18 people were arrested for several similar attacks. Several of them were minors and are not identified at all.

More importantly, however, we now know who the victim was. City Pages magazine has written a heart-wrenching account of the resilient victim’s struggle to overcome brain damage that he experienced in the attack. He was also interviewed on KARE-TV.

In the story titled “Victim of downtown Minneapolis pack beating: ‘I just want my brain back’,” Brendan O’Brien explains what he was doing there and how traumatic the beating has been.

On August 17, Brendan O’Brien was out celebrating his 24th birthday. He’d just emerged from a bar at 4 a.m. on 5th and Hennepin to summon an Uber on his phone.

Within moments he was surrounded by a pack of robbers. A security camera catches him being pummeled to the pavement, repeatedly punched and kicked in the head until the pack separates, revealing his unconscious body splayed on the sidewalk.

He would eventually be helped away by Good Samaritans, with enough power that he didn’t immediately think of getting medical help. But a month later, the damage is evident. O’Brien can’t drive, can’t work, and struggles to hold conversations.

O’Brien watched the video of his attack only recently and struggled to get through it. His sister has set up a GoFundMe page to help her brother pay for his doctor bills and to support himself while he is out of work.

“My brother now has to deal with symptoms of brain trauma that include migraines, memory loss, inability to drive, operate machinery and unrelenting anxiety,” says his sister Lily on a GoFundMe page set up to help with medical bills. “Some symptoms may be permanent and as treatment schedule begins the fear of what is yet to be discovered resonates.”

Apparently there has been an epidemic of street crime in Minneapolis recently, some of which has been caught on video like this incident. Although the attackers were originally labeled as Somali refugees, it appears their nationality is now not confirmed. I’ll certainly let you know if I find out more.

As for O’Brien, he is much more philosophical about the attack than most of us would be:

He doesn’t worry that his phone was stolen, that his wallet, keys, and $80 are gone. Cut between the nine attackers, the individual takes from the robbery amounted to less than 10 bucks apiece. “So the joke’s on them,” he says.

On the other hand, he is deadly serious when he says, “I just want my brain back.”

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For the rest of us, we could say with equal seriousness, “We want our cities back.” This kind of out-of-control violence is completely unacceptable in the United States of America and needs to be stamped out. We also need to ask why the major media has barely given any attention to this savage attack. Is it because the victim was white and the attackers were black? What would have happened if the circumstances were reversed? You know the answer. 


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