NORWICH – In 18 hours, nearly $2,500 has been raised to help the victim of an assault in Norwich.
The assault of Dave Jennings, 43, took place early Saturday morning near Fair Street in Norwich. He said that the accused followed him from Lackawanna Avenue to near Fair Street, calling out racial epithets before punching him repeatedly.
The victim suffered a laceration to his forehead, multiple bruises and bumps, two black eyes, broken glasses, and a possible concussion. He went to the hospital Tuesday to be evaluated for his injuries.
The man accused of the assault, Jacob Fowlston, was charged with assault in the first degree and criminal mischief following the incident. He was released on appearance tickets returnable to Norwich City Court.
A ‘youcaring.com’ page was set up and has been organized by Carrie Nixon. In less than one day, local community members and those across the country have pledged their support for Jennings.
“I'm saddened and horrified that this could happen in our town in 2016,” said Erin O’Hearn. “What is happening around here?! Dave is one of the kindest, unassuming, lovable, good hearted and good natured man that wouldn't bother anyone.”
O’Hearn continued, “It's awful. No one deserves this. I am hopeful for some justice for Dave and his family. This is not acceptable.”
Those who have donated have pledged not only funds but support to Jennings and his family.
An anonymous donor said, “Unfathomable that this could happen to one of the nicest guys I ever knew in what was once one of the nicest towns I've ever known.”
Nixon said nothing could have prepared her for her meeting with Jennings Tuesday. “Who in 2016, had been beaten, because of the color of his skin. And I sat there, and even said, ‘Look at me, with all of this privilege, the hair is even white, I am so sorry. I am so, sorry.’ And Dave laughed, with, two black eyes, ‘I just want others to talk about it. I know I'm not the only one.’”
Jennings added, with regard to the person who called 911 Saturday when witnessing the incident, “Thank you. For that. For paying attention."
The funds raised are to go toward medical bills for Jennings, a new pair of glasses as his were ruined in the assault, and attorney fees.
“Dave has been a pillar of our small community, his entire life. He takes the bus to his job, he holds the presidency to the Board of Trustees at the Chenango Memorial Library, and does nothing, but give his time, and pass along his smile, wherever he goes. Dave wants nothing but to raise awareness about what happened to him, in the event others will come to find the courage and speak out about what perhaps, may have happened, to them,” said Nixon.
The youcaring page can be found at www.youcaring.com/davejennings-724375.
Further information from the Norwich Police will be released as it is made available.