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Man beaten unconscious near Radford University campus, police say

Man is in critical condition as police search for suspects

RADFORD, Va. – Radford police said Monday they’re searching for at least four people who they say beat a man unconscious early Sunday morning, a few blocks from the Radford University campus.

Police said video taken during the incident shows the victim lying motionless on the ground. It shows people kicking him, while others try to push them away.

Police said the man was unconscious when they arrived and is in “critical but stable condition” at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Police said they went to Lawrence Street near 2nd Avenue after a call about a fight in progress shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday. The attack happened in a parking lot outside an apartment complex, according to people who live there.

People who said they’ve met the victim said he’s a Radford University student. A university spokesperson could not confirm his status at the school.

One young man, who said he saw what happened, talked to 10 News but said he doesn't want to be identified.

He said the victim looked like he was drunk as he told a group of people that he could beat anyone in a fight. The man said the conversation escalated from there before someone punched the victim.

“One of them walked around and just knocked him straight in the face - from the side, so like from a diagonal angle behind him. He got hit pretty hard and then went down after that,” the man said.

He said people then rushed toward the fight, and 30 to 50 people were in the parking lot.

People who live there said they’ve seen fights happen in the area, but they’re surprised someone would be seriously injured.

“I was pretty heartbroken. I actually started crying when I saw the video,” sophomore Morgan Ocetnik said. “I feel like I've always been in a pretty safe environment at Radford. It was very shocking.”

They said the parking lot often isn’t quiet because people frequently walk through the area.

“It's a busy area but someone getting halfway beaten to death is not good at all and it's not a good look for the school, and I wouldn't say that that's what the school stands for,” junior Brandyn Bagby said.

Radford city spokeswoman Jenni Wilder said police are asking for the public's help.

“From the video you can tell there are people standing around and witnessing this happen,” she said. “Right now (police) are asking any witnesses or any potential suspects to come forward.”

There's a security camera nearby. Employees with leasing company that owns the apartment complex said they’re working with police.

Radford police ask anyone with information to reach out to them by calling Lt. P.J. Rutzinski at 540-267-3207, or through email at pete.rutzinski@radfordva.gov.

The video has been edited to remove foul language.


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