Police: Street Art Fest Security Guard ‘Stalked’ then ‘Blindsided’ 

The security guard who was severely beaten while patrolling the GRTC Bus Depot on Cary Street was blindsided by his attacker, police say.

“I think it’s one of those deals -- he got caught off guard,” says Detective Joseph Fultz Jr. “A vehicle stopped on Grayland (Avenue), a guy got out. … He stalked the man is what it looked like to me.”

The attack left the guard, Jack Newsom, hospitalized and caused memory loss, making it difficult to piece together the events that night, Fultz says. “It is difficult to try to get things together when the man was injured the way he was,” the detective says.

Police don’t have a description of the perpetrator, but say they’ll attempt to enhance surveillance footage. In the interim, they’re asking anyone who may have seen anything to contact the department.

The attack took place on Nov. 23 at approximately 11 p.m. Fultz believes it was a robbery and not likely connected to vandalism reported earlier in the day.

The bus depot is the site of the GRTC Street Art Festival, which in September brought artists from around the world to cover the facility in murals.

After the festival, the GRTC allowed public access to the grounds during daylight hours. After the attack, the GRTC once again closed the grounds.

One of the event’s organizers, City Councilman Jon Baliles, says he’s “very hopeful” he’ll be able to work with the bus company to restore access. He says he plans to meet with administrators before the end of the year.

The organizers are attempting to raise $10,000 to cover the guard’s medical costs. Baliles says they hope to be able to deliver the money before Christmas. Just under $7,000 had been raised as of Thursday afternoon.

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