CENTRALIA — The 31-year-old Centralia woman who came upon a young man being beaten on a Centralia street Monday says she was prepared to be beaten herself as she jumped from her car to stop the group continuing their brutal attack.
Jessika, who only wants to share her first name, says she was turning from Rexford on to Lincoln Monday where she saw what appeared to be a fight. Despite her honking at the group she described as six or seven grown men, they continued to beat on the one figure on the ground.
She says they were stomping, punching, kicking and slamming the person with a bicycle. As Jessika jumped from her vehicle the group of men ran from the scene.
“I was relieved when they ran off but I was prepared to take a beating. I just knew the person on the ground needed a break from the beating,” explained Jessika. “All it took was a witness [to stop them.”
Jessika says as she approached the person lying on the ground she realized he was small – just a child. Unconscious and unresponsive, the 15-year-old began seizing, which she says continued the entire time they were on the street.
She says there was another young man with the victim but he wasn’t the target of the brutality his friend endured and was unharmed.
Kneeling on the ground and taking the young man’s head in her lap, Jessika promised herself she wouldn’t leave him until he was in the ambulance. A man arrived on the scene moments later and called 911 as friends and family of the young man began arriving at the scene.
The new crowd of 15 to 20 people was angry and upset, she says, and emotions moved some to threaten her with violence for being there.
As the chaos ensued around them, Jessika spoke to the young man urging him to be strong and to listen to the voices of all the people there who love him.
Covered in the blood and vomit of the young stranger, Jessika remained with him until he was loaded into the ambulance. He was initially taken to SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia but due to the severity of his injuries he was airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment.
Jessika says that hopefully the young man recovers and someday they can meet and she can give him a hug.