COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Police is looking for two suspects accused of severely beating a man — who is currently “fighting for his life” — outside a Short North bar earlier this month.
At a press conference Tuesday, Detective Anthony Johnson and Commander Mark Denner asked the public’s help in locating two men — Chrystian Semont Foster and Dwayne Lamont Cummings — who were caught on camera aggressively assaulting Gregory Coleman Jr. outside Julep, a bar in the 1000 block of North High Street, just after 2:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 5.
“It’s hard to sit there and watch them be attacked, to lay there and to not render any type of aid for minutes at a time,” Johnson said.
Following the assault, Coleman was taken to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in critical condition, according to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers. Days after being hospitalized at OSU, Coleman was transferred to the ICU, where his condition has only deteriorated, Johnson said.
“We are doing horrible,” said the victim’s father, Gregory Coleman Sr. “This probably is the worst thing that could ever happen to a family because it’s like he is brain dead, he is just laying there.”
The assault, which left Coleman with severe head injuries, stemmed from what Johnson said appeared to be a “mutual fight” between the three men.
Detective Anthony Johnson speaks about violent Sept. 5 assault
In a video obtained by Columbus police, the victim and another man are seen squaring up with each other. The victim throws a punch at one of the suspects but doesn’t hit him. The victim is then hit in the face by a second man who comes at the victim from the side.
This punch sends the man down to the ground, landing half on the sidewalk and half on the roadway. The two other men then proceed to hit the victim as he is still on the ground. While people can be seen standing around taking pictures and videos of the victim, police said they have not been able to find any witnesses to the incident.
“And to lay there and not render any type of aid for minutes at a time and not make any 911 calls,” Johnson said. “As a community, we just have to do better.”
Columbus police charged the two suspects, Foster and Cummings, with attempted murder, Johnson said. Both have been previously arrested on assault-related charges, according to records with the Franklin County Municipal Court.
Although Coleman remains alive as of Tuesday afternoon, Johnson confirmed that the department’s homicide unit is investigating the case. In an online post spotted Monday, a man named D.J. Byrnes wrote that he was a friend of the victim. He said at the last update after the fight, the victim was on a ventilator in a local hospital’s intensive care unit.
“Like any family that’s dealing with a tragedy, they’re (Coleman’s family) is having difficulties,” Johnson said. “The video was very hard to watch, as you guys may have seen. At this point, they want the community to do the right thing and to provide information so that we can locate these guys and get ’em behind bars.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call 614-645-4488 or email a detective on the case. Tips can also be made to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).