A teenage baseball player in California was hospitalized after being assaulted while walking home from a friend's house.
Evan Jimenez was reportedly attacked by two men at around 10 p.m. on March 30 in the unincoporated area of San Pedro, KTLA reports. According to an April 2 release on the L.A. County Sheriff's Department website (since removed), Jimenez remained in serious condition.
"The victim sustained serious injuries after he was assaulted by two unknown males, leaving him unconscious," said Lomita Sheriff Sgt. Eric Ford. "Minutes after the assault, a vehicle pulled into the alley and took [Jimenez] to the hospital."
The Daily Breeze has described the men who attacked Jimenez as "gang members."
Charlene Douthit, Jimenez's mother, has said she is "heartbroken" over the incident and has kept friends and family updated on her son's condition via Facebook.
"I haven't been able to respond to everyone, hardly anyone for that matter," said Douthit. "I just wanted to send a quick Thank You to all that are praying for my son please keep praying for my boy he needs it I would do the same for yours."
San Pedro High School's head baseball coach Steve Tedesco said that the freshman and junior varsity baseball player doesn't seem to have suffered brain damage from his injuries but that doctors expect "a long road to recovery."
"He's a great kid with an infectious personality," Tedesco said of Jimenez. "We liked his baseball talent and his character. He works extremely hard at the game and in the classroom. We’re all praying for him."
Friends and family have set up a GoFundMe to cover Evan's medical expenses and help his mother, who the GoFundMe says is the "only provider in the household, and will not be able to return to work for a very long time."
"March 30, 2017 seemed like just a regular good day," reads the GoFundMe's description of the incident. "After a great win of 20-0 against Gardena, one of our own San Pedro High School JV Baseball Players was jumped and beaten by 2 men when he was walking home from a friend’s house."
"Evan was hit over the head/face with a Jack Daniels bottle, stepped on, and brutally beaten beyond recognition and left unconscious to die in an alley," the page continues. "Little did these horrible men realize how strong our Evan is."
Earlier the same week, on March 26, Jimenez had gone to a funeral for a fellow player, 16-year-old Jesse Esphorst Jr., who had died in a car accident after the vehicle he and his father were in collided with two cars that ran a red light.
"This funeral had a heavy impact on Evan as well as all of these boys. They have been through the unimaginable within just a week time," says the GoFundMe page.
Police are reportedly still investigating the attack, though no suspects have yet been identified or arrested in the case.