Man brutally beaten in park after getting carjacked
A Milwaukee, WIsc.., man fell asleep in his car one afternoon at a local park while waiting for his son to finish soccer practice — but was awakened when somebody suddenly yanked open the door, TMJ4 reported.
"I kind of don't remember anything after that because I was hit in the back of the head and left unconscious," the dad, Lewis Lea, told WISN.
But a surveillance video captured the violent incident in the parking lot of the Washington Park Ecology Center on May 17.
The video shows three people walk toward the man's car while a fourth person stands a few feet behind. One suspect opens the car's door, but it closes almost immediately. The person opens it again and holds it open while another person knocks some items out of the driver's hands before jumping back.
The driver starts to get out of the car and pick something up off the ground. Meanwhile, the third suspect, who had crawled in the passenger door, reaches out of the driver door and appears to strike the man. The man falls to the ground, one of the suspects stomps on his head.
The three suspects all get in the car, back it up and then drive it away through the grass as the man lies motionless on the pavement. The fourth suspect who had stood back takes off running into the park.
A woman later found the dad lying dazed and bloody on the ground, Fox 6 reported.
"My son came screaming and crying, 'Dad why are you bleeding, what's going on' and that's kind of when I woke up and realized something bad just happened," Lea told WISN.
Lea was taken to the hospital for treatments to lacerations on his face, Fox 6 reported.
"Left him unconscious and his son's out there playing soccer. Can you imagine that?" Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt told TMJ4. "It's just a horrific situation."
Police recovered the vehicle on May 24 after they say 17-year-old Brandon J. Randall abandoned it, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Police have charged him with felony bail jumping, car theft and robbery with use of force, and are seeking other charges against an 18-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old in connection to the case, according to the paper.
“Criminals run, but they can’t hide! Beating an innocent citizen and running away shows a total disregard for humanity. I encourage the judicial system to send a strong message to stop this senseless violence. This is what prisons are for," Schmidt told Fox 6.
Lea told TMJ4 he and his son wrote a letter of thanks to the deputy who responded thanking him for everything he had done for them in the case.
“My family and I want you to know your efforts made a difference. Thank you," his son Maurice Lea told the deputy, according to the station.