Several charged with beating driver face judge

Eric Loznicka
May 17, 2011 4:28:16 AM PDT
Several bystanders who allegedly pulled a driver from his vehicle and severely beat him after he accidentally struck a pedestrian near Henderson on March 19, appeared in court Monday to face a judge.

Authorities have charged a total of eight people in connection with the beating of Eric Loznicka.

Troopers say on the night of March 19, Loznicka struck 18-year-old Reuban Wright of Henderson near Kittrell after Wright stepped into the road in front of Loznicka's car.

Wright's friends allegedly then pulled Loznicka from his car and attacked him for several minutes while 16 witnesses called 911.

Authorities say each person involved with the beating is charged with assault inflicting serious injury, which is a misdemeanor.

In court Monday, Loznicka watched four of the eight people charged with assaulting him face a judge.

"I'd like to give my condolences to the Reuben Wright family," said Loznicka in court. "I know they went through a tremendous ordeal. I just want to express, it was an accident. Truly just an accident."

Loznicka said he tried to help Wright, but he never got the chance.

"No questions, all I heard was some very verbal abuse, and after that first hit, they started coming in the back passenger doors, the passenger side doors and I was being drug out of the car," he said. "Not once, but I struggled to get back in that car four different times and was pulled out four different times."

Loznicka's wife, Angela, said sitting with her husband and watching the accused people in court was hard, because the entire family is living in fear of reprisals.

She also told ABC11 earlier this month that the charges against the mob that attacked her husband aren't strong enough.

"Does he have to be dead for anybody to wake up and realize that this was very wrong?" Angela Loznicka said. "It makes me really angry. I mean, it's not right."

But Loznicka says despite his ordeal, he forgives his attackers.

"That I have to have a forgiving heart and this goes out to the people that inflicted what they inflicted upon me," he said. "Though it's hard, I know that's the right thing to do."

In the meantime, their cases are continued until June 30, because the assistant DA handling the cases couldn't come to the scheduled hearing Monday.

Police say the group that attacked Loznicka can't be charged with felonies, because he can't say who did what to him. However, the suspects face up to five months in jail if convicted.

Wright suffered head and leg injuries and was flown to Duke University Hospital for treatment.

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