JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Weeks after he was attacked, tied to a van and dragged down a road in Jacksonville's Moncrief neighborhood, the victim is still being treated in an intensive care unit, his family says.
Most people don't know the name of the openly gay 38-year-old man who was attacked near Majestic Plaza Apartments, but they know his story. On Sept. 27, police said he was dragged down a street near Moncrief Road and West 36th Street.
His body was bruised, and his skin peeled as it scraped against the concrete road. Family members said he can't talk and can barely move 18 days after the violent attack.
"His brain was like a vegetable, so we are kind of looking for a home to put him in," said the man's sister-in-law who asked not to be identified.
For the protection and safety of the victim and his family, News4Jax is not naming him.
Surveillance video helped police catch the suspected attacker. They said it showed Eric Bridges, 34, driving the van as the man was being dragged down the street.
Bridges was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
As the man recovers, the victim's family is surprised that anyone could have possibly harmed him for his sexuality.
"It's very surprising that this happened to him," the man's sister-in-law said. "It's surprising the area that it happened in, because he's never over there."
Medical bills are beginning to grow for the man, who could be in the hospital for months. Though his life may be changed forever, his family is hoping he recovers.
"Just pray," the man's sister-in-law said. "Keep us in your prayers."
The family has created a fundraising page to help pay for medical expenses.