By LESLEY MARIN
Long Beach, California (KCAL) — A Long Beach man is calling for justice after he was attacked by a group of teenagers after being tricked by a girl asking for help.
Joe Kremer was walking home from the gym on October 3, when the incident happened, leaving him unconscious in the street. He suffered a number of facial fractures, along with scrapes and bruising along his whole body.
He says his worst injury isn’t actually physical, but rather the lingering mental effect the incident has had on him.
“I’m scared to go outside,” he said. “I’m looking over my shoulder just walking down the street.”
According to a statement from Long Beach Police Department, the incident happened at around 9:15 p.m., when the man was walking along the 300 block of W. Broadway.
Investigators say that was found with injuries to his upper and lower body after he was attacked by a group of at least 15 juveniles. He was taken to a hospital for treatment following the assault.
Kremer says the whole ordeal began when he was approached by a teenage girl who asked him for some sort of help. Before he knew it, he was surrounded.
“It was on, punches and kicks coming from everywhere, especially my right side. Backpacks being swung at my head,” Kremer recalled. “”I remember thinking to myself, ‘Joe, if you don’t get up right now, you’re gonna die.’ I was waiting, honestly for a gunshot or a knife stabbed into my body.”
Luckily for him, two men walked out of the apartment complex, causing the group to scatter.
“My life flashed before my eyes, I thought about my son, my parents,” Kremer said.
While he recovers, Kremer is hopeful that local detectives are able to locate the group and make sure that something similar doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“It’s very, very disheartening. It makes me feel like we’re losing our society, we’re losing our youth, we’re losing our future,” he said. “I”m a big, strong, athletic guy. What if I wasn’t? What if I couldn’t have taken the blow to the face and could have died? That could be the next person.”
Kremer says that he’s seen various members of the group still lingering around the area where he was attacked, less than a mile from his home. On Tuesday, he says that he saw the girl who first approached him, which prompted him to confront her.
“That was a mistake, I should not have went out there, I could have gotten hurt again, Kremer said. “Those boys came running off the train to come at me — again.”
However, days later, officers patrolling near the area, just one block away from where the assault occurred, located a male suspect who they say matched the description that was given by the victim.
He was taken to Long Beach City Jail for booking but has since been released into the custody of LA County’s Probation Department.
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