Watch CBS News

Witness To Brutal Attack Speaks With WJZ

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A man is fighting for his life after a brutal attack in downtown Baltimore. A witness to the broad-daylight beating is speaking only to WJZ.

Mike Hellgren has this new account and why this case is so unusual.

It's so stunning to many because it's so brazen. The beating happened in the afternoon last Friday on Lombard and Howard just blocks from Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor.

John Mason, a 32-year-old tattoo artist, is in a medically induced coma with serious head injuries after being beaten downtown on Lombard and Howard streets, just a block from the Bromo Seltzer Tower. The bold attack was at 1:30 p.m. last Friday.

A witness--who does not want his face shown--says there were at least eight attackers, all young men.

"Twice, he kept telling them he didn't want to fight. He didn't want to fight," the witness said. "They didn't care."

It didn't look like it was a targeted attack.

"They didn't know him at all. They was just looking for trouble," he said.

He says it happened at the bus stop and one of the attackers kicked Mason more than a dozen times.

"The guy was already knocked unconscious and the guy sat there and held his feet while his homeboy just started stomping on his head," he said. "When I came down and I called 911, he was on his back. I turned him on his side and when I did, he came about and the last I recall was, I saw him getting on the stretcher."

"At this point, it's unclear what the motive was. We're looking at a variety of possibilities. One of them is an obvious robbery. We're also looking at the background of the victim, trying to see if there are any disputes that might have resulted in this," said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police spokesperson.

Police are combing through images from the extensive camera network downtown and say the area is safe, despite this attack and the beating of a tourist earlier this year that was caught on video and got attention nationwide.

Some who live and work here are fed up.

"Somebody needs to come forward and say what they saw so we can get these people off the streets who are doing these things to our citizens," said Eric Adams.

Police say they hope to interview the victim and do not yet have any good description of the attackers.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.