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Mother of fight victim asking Uticans to come forward with information

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Police have been concerned over the recent rash of large gatherings in the city, where many fights have broken out. It has now been revealed that a victim of one of those fights is now in a hospital, in a coma.

His name is Joshua and he moved to the Utica area from Westchester County several years ago. His mother, Denise, has now traveled to Utica to be at her son's bedside.

Denise says Joshua was one of about a group of 100 outside the Chatter Box Lounge on Genesee Street in Utica around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 6. Joshua was injured in one of the altercations that broke out at that location.
Police made several arrests in association with those fights, but Denise says no one has been brought to justice for her son's attack. Denise says she has heard through the grapevine that Joshua was beaten by a group of about seven, and they continued to beat him while he was on the ground.

She says the people that know something are not coming forward to give police information. "My son is at this hospital fighting for his life, and the people that called him friend, called him brother, say they loved him, won't even go give a statement.” Joshua’s mother said. She added, “ The mothers that said, 'oh he's like a son to me,' won't give a statement, how dare you, how do you sleep at night? This boy would take his shirt off and give it to you and you going to let these people get away with this. Don't talk about the police, the Utica people are letting these people get away with hurting their young people, and hurting other people, and listen, it could be my son today, it could be your son tomorrow."

Denise requested that the hospital where Joshua is being treated be disclosed. She did email some pictures of Joshua from his hospital bed. His mother told NewsChannel 2 that Joshua was originally brought to the hospital for head injuries and, at some point, his brain swelled and surgery on his brian was required. She says he currently is in a coma.

Denise says Joshua moved up from Westchester County to Utica two and a half years ago and has never been in trouble here or back at home downstate. She says that when she made the four hours trip up to Utica, she came across some people at the hospital who were talking bad about the Utica Police Department.

Denise said, "I was told that Utica Police wasn't going to do anything, and they don't do nothing. Well, I am here to tell you that is a bold face lie. Utica police have assisted me all the way." Denise says investigators have been up to the hospital to see her every day since she's been here.

Some local women who have been by Denise's side all week, including a pastor who came to know Joshua, say they don't want people to think Joshua is a bad person who deserved what he got. Utica Resident Genine Harvey says Joshua worked with her daughter at a local supermarket and is a very good person. She said, "Every time I saw him, he was just a great kid. He's not of the element, you know of the street, and that whole rah-rah about it, he's not that type of child."

Denise is pleading with Utica residents for help. She said, "Don't let my son gone through this, brain surgery, fighting for his life in vein, do something, call the police, please."

Utica Police say they are investigating. If you have any information, give them a call at 315-735-3301.

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