Man who was severely beaten by youths forgives them for acting out.
A Minneapolis man who was beaten within an inch of his life has forgiven the five teens responsible for the shocking, unprovoked attack.
Ray Widstrand doesn't remember the fateful night of August 4, however authorities say the then-26-year-old found himself in the middle of a terrifying gang confrontation on the streets near his St Paul apartment and was kicked, stomped on and left to die.
But Widstrand doesn't believe the beating is a reflection of the community and said he wished the teens the best.
'That was just a freak accident,' Widstrand, who is now 27, told the Star Tribune. 'It was just young kids lashing out. I was a young kid once. I lashed out.'
He added: 'I'm indifferent towards them. I wish them the best. But I am recovering and I'll be back soon enough, hopefully I can go back to work, back to my normal life, back to living on my own and back to business as usual.'
Five people, one adult and four juveniles, have been charged in the assault on Widstrand.
The jury trial for Issac Maiden, 19, who faces first-degree assault and aggravated robbery charges as well as two counts of gang-related crimes, will start Monday. The four juveniles face similar charges.
The inspirational cable programming assistant said he'd learned a lot from the harrowing experience, which left him in a wheelchair and unable to perform basic tasks like shaving or using the bathroom alone.
'My dad was right. He said there are more builders than there are tearers down. ...The world is a good place if you just give it a chance,” Widstrand told the Tribune from his room at the rehab center. He thanks his friends, family and the community for their support.
'I have people praying for me. I have to go the extra mile,' he said.
The young man is due to undergo more surgery in November, this time to have the blone flaps on his head put back into place. He's hoping to be home by Christmas.
Earlier this month, soon after he began constructing sentences again following his severe brain injuries, Widstrand gave his first interview from his wheelchair at a fundraiser held in Minneapolis to help pay for his treatments.
Suspect: Five people, one adult and four juveniles, have been charged in the assault. The trial for Issac Maiden, 19, pictured, will start Monday
Speaking slowly and haltingly, Widstrand told a local news station that he has no recollection of the night heartless youths robbed and beat him to the brink of death.
The 27-year-old was walking home in his neighborhood on St Paul's East Side when he was attacked by a group of 30 to 50 juveniles and young adults.
He was hit in the head with a 'can in a sock', stomped on, had his pants ripped off him and was robbed. He was placed in a medically-induced coma when he was taken to hospital.
Wearing a helmet to protect his head, Widstrand spoke about the difficulties he has faced in the two months since the beating occurred.
'It's been trying at times,' he said.
"Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it ... You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
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