Family Of Man Paralyzed In Assault Calling For Justice
JEANNETTE (KDKA) — The family of a 21-year-old man, who was paralyzed during an alleged assault, is calling on police to make an arrest in the case.
The victim has been a quadriplegic since June of last year.
Kelly McKenzie and her family are leading a crusade for justice. For 14 months they’ve been waiting for Jeannette police and the Westmoreland County District Attorney to file charges against three men who allegedly assaulted her son, Phillip, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
“It was Father’s Day and Phillip was going to pick up his daughter, and the mother’s family members did not want him to take the baby,” said McKenzie.
She says the men attacked him on the front porch of a home on Patton Street.
“They struck him twice in the chest,” said McKenzie. “They tackled him over a porch railing and he hit his neck off a gas meter and severed his spinal cord and that led him to be paralyzed.”
McKenzie says she adopted Phillip when he was 16-months-old. He was injured in June of 2012, but nothing has happened. She is blaming race.
“I also feel it’s a contributing factor to why there has been no charges filed. I believe it’s a racial issue out here in Westmoreland County,” McKenzie said.
“There has been no investigation, only lip service to shut us up,” said Patrick Mynahan, Phillip’s uncle. “And excuse us, they tell us what they think we want to hear yet they have taken no action to satisfy Phillip, my sister and the rest of the family.”
Several dozen family members and friends gathered at New Hope Baptist Church in Jeannette to figure out where to go from here.
“It did not take 393 days for my sister and I to understand that there is something seriously wrong here in this town and this county,” said Mynahan.
Phillip could not come to the gathering because of health reasons. His mother has no plans to give up.
Meanwhile, Jeannette police say the case has been turned over to the district attorney.
Rev. Anthony Murray, of the New Hope Baptist Church, told the family to hold on to their faith.
“I believe if we let God voice be heard and let God intercede on our behalf that God has a way of bringing that from the dark into the light,” said Rev. Murray.