LAWRENCE - A Lawrence man who suffers from autism was right outside of Starbucks Wednesday night when he was attacked. "I was listening to music, minding my own business, some guy came up to me and he punched me in the head," says AJ Alexander. The 22 year-old has a visible bruise on his left eye after being attacked for no apparent reason.
His father is in a state of shock, unable to comprehend how someone could do this to his son. "Whoever this kid is, he punched an autistic kid who was not capable of defending himself and had nothing to do with him whatsoever," says Tom Alexander, who went back to Starbucks on Thursday and talked to a worker there who witnessed the crime. "They say they looked up and this guy just came out of nowhere and clocked him in the head a couple of times and turned around and left."
The culprit is described as a white man last seen wearing a hat, dark pants, a KU shirt and Jacket. No arrests have been made. Tom is hoping you can help find the person responsible for hurting his son. "AJ could have been at the wrong place at the wrong time," says Tom. "But if he was singled out because he was acting like AJ, that's a pretty bad thing."
The Alexanders moved to Lawrence from California nearly two decades ago. AJ apparently could barely speak, and with the help of the Lawrence School District, he's now able to live almost on his own and hold down a job. Despite what's happened to him, he remains optimistic. "I'm sure I'll be ok," says AJ.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 843-TIPS.