Police in Bakersfield, Calif., are investigating a brutal attack that nearly killed a transgender teen, leaving him on a ventilator for four weeks.
Kristian Rouse, 18, a recent high school graduate, was living on his own in an apartment complex in Southwest Bakersfield. Every day, he would call his mother, Eurydice Darrington, to let her know he was all right. But Darrington says that one day, she didn’t hear from him. She and Rouse’s ex-girlfriend went to his apartment, searching for him.
“We kept banging on the door,” Darrington told Bakersfield NBC affiliate KGET. “She [his ex-girlfriend] jumped over the gate for the balcony and could see him there.”
She says she was able to get a maintenance employee to open the door, finding Rouse on the floor, in medical distress.
“He could barely speak, barely breathe,” Darrington told KGET. “He had marks around his neck, his face was swollen, he had bruises on his torso and his back and his shirt was off. He’s transgender and that is not a nice thing to do.”
Rouse was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator for four weeks. He’s now in a long-term acute care hospital in Covina, where he’s undergoing physical therapy to regain the use of his leg and arm.
He still can’t talk due to scar tissue in his throat, though he has indicated to family members that he doesn’t remember anything about the attack.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help defray the cost of his medical bills.
Bakersfield police are asking anyone with information about the attack to call police at (661) 327-7111.
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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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