The parents of 21-year-old Washington man James Foster, who is in a coma after being savagely beaten for allegedly complimenting another man’s wheels, will hold a vigil for their son at Tacoma General Hospital this Saturday at 8 p.m. local time. Foster is still unconscious and possibly paralyzed.
The story has incited an emotional response on the Internet as well — most notably on the social media sites Reddit and Facebook.
Since news of the incident broke this week there’s been an outpouring of support for Foster and an even larger outpouring of vitriol leveled at Daman Lehman, his attacker. A Facebook page that identifies as Lehman was spammed. On the website Reddit, which his Facebook page claims he used, the community there has turned against him with calls to crucify him. A Reddit post linking to Jalopnik was taken down by moderators because of the sharing of Lehman’s personal info, a moderator of the /WTF subreddit confirmed.
The response isn’t entirely surprising. Lehman looks like the poster child for Tapout-shirt wearing bullies, with his humongous arms and vacant stare. People who otherwise wouldn’t likely confront him in person have numerous outlets for their rage on the Internet. Details of the incident only support this impression.
Foster has been in a coma since the incident occurred last Friday outside of a bar in Puyallup, Washington. A car enthusiast, he saw the wheels on 25-year-old Lehman’s car and complimented them. For no apparent reason, Lehman punched him twice in the face. Foster hit his head on the ground.
According to witnesses, Lehman said “I put people to sleep, that’s what I do” as he left the scene. Lehman was arrested and charged with first-degree assault. The 25-year-old pleaded not guilty and was let out on $75,000 bail.
None of that rage is likely to have a real impact on this case. The best response would be to support the Foster family, which individuals near Tacoma General Hospital can do Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Gary Paul Lews/Shutterstock, Facebook