CLEVELAND– Four men have been sentenced to prison, for their roles in a brutal attack on a RTA rapid, that was caught on video.
It happened on September 18, 2012, at the RTA station on West 65th street in Cleveland.
Investigators say Doug Butler, a 39-year-old man who has autism, was on his way home from work, listening to and singing gospel music, when a group of men on the rapid become agitated by the music and begin attacking Butler, with a flurry of kicks and punches.
Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Aaron Brockler told FOX 8, “That’s the only crime here, he was trying to come home after a hard night of work enjoying gospel music, and you know he got beaten within an inch of his life for it.”
The attack would continue in flurries for several minutes, even though it was obvious an injured Doug Butler was defenseless.
“Mr. Butler suffered multiple jaw fractures, facial fractures, broken orbital bone, he also had to have his jaw wired shut,” said Brockler.
Descriptions provided by passengers of the attackers’ clothes, led to the arrest later that morning of 31-year-old Ronald Woods, 50-year-old J.L. Williams, Jr., 22-year-old Manuelle Williams and 30-year-old Deionty Austin.
Ronald Woods and J.L. Williams were convicted of felonious assault and sentenced Tuesday to five and four years in prison respectively.
Manuelle Williams, who was identified as the main aggressor, and Deionty Austin, were convicted of an additional charge of attempted murder and were sentenced Tuesday to seven and four years respectively.
“You know at some point in time, the line gets crossed from a simple assault to trying to take somebody’s life”, said Brockler. “And when you watch the video in its entirety, you’ll see that there’s repeated blows to the head, throat area, stomping on the skull.”
Prosecutors say Doug Butler continues to recover from his injuries, and continues to ride the rapid.