CLEVELAND -- A small group of community activists has come together in support of a man with mental challenges, after he was viciously beaten last Wednesday, for no reason.
John Rager, 47, is in fair condition at MetroHealth Medical Center's brain trauma center, after the beating left him with serious brain injuries.
"Pain has no color," said members of Black on Black Crime, as they led a prayer circle in a parking lot on East 152nd, near Collinwood High School.
Activists expressed their support for Rager's sister, Jimilee Hoover, who attended Tuesday night's rally.
"He still has 12 staples in his head," Hoover said of her younger brother. "But with brain injuries, it's something different every day. I don't think he'll ever be able to work again.
Despite his learning disabilities, Rager worked each night on the late shift at Unger's Bakery in Cleveland Heights. On August 14, Rager's bicycle had a flat tire, so he was forced to walk from the bus stop toward his home in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood.
As he was walking along East 152nd Street, a group of men savagely beat his head and body, unprovoked, and left him to die. Fortunately a good samaritan later passed by and called police.
Hoover is determined to find justice for her younger brother. She had this message to his attackers: "You did this for sport? You did this for fun? It wasn't. You just ruined the lives of a kind man and his family," she said angrily.
A Facebook page -- John Needs Justice -- has been created to raise awareness and money for him and his wife, Dee Dee, who also has learning disabilities.
Additionally, Cleveland Councilman Mike Polensek has set up two funds -- one to raise money for John and another to raise reward money to find his attackers.
You can contribute to the victim fund at any local Key Bank branch. To donate to the reward fund, call Polensek's office at (216) 664-4236.
Cleveland police encourage anyone with any information about the incident to contact the Fifth District Headquarters of Cleveland Police at (216) 623-2589.