APD spokesperson Marlene Lammers says a man, identified by family members as 26-year-old Paul Blume, was assaulted by six to eight men on the 3600 block of Thompson Avenue after he asked them for a cigarette. According to a police report, members of the group accused Blume of being in a prior verbal altercation with them, then beat him before driving away in a blue SUV.
Blume’s mother Judy Savage, a witness to the incident, says he was attacked at about 6 a.m. Tuesday near her house. After the men refused to give Blume a cigarette, he had turned to depart when they began to beat him.
“He walked away,” Savage said. “He was getting away from the situation.”
Family members who saw the beating poured into the street, with Blume’s brother, Larry Martin, rushing outside with a baseball bat to break up the crowd. Savage says he threw the bat at the men, then chased their departing vehicle on foot for six blocks while Blume was assisted by Savage and his sister.
“I thought he was dead -- he was lying in a pool of blood and I thought he was dead,” Savage said.
Family members say doctors wired Blume’s jaw shut in two places where it had been broken, and performed surgery to sew his tongue together. He was released Thursday, but visited the emergency room again Friday.
Savage claims APD is moving too slowly in its investigation of the incident.
Lammers says a detective has been assigned to the case, but was in court Friday and off-duty over the weekend. While she acknowledges the delay, she says police are committed to investigating the beating.
Savage says she’s trying to contact Victims for Justice and establish a modest reward fund for information leading to the arrest of the men who attacked her son.
“I want them caught,” she said. “They need to be punished.”