CLEVELAND (WJW) — A Cleveland man with special needs, who was brutally beaten during a robbery last week, is recovering from his injuries and FOX 8 viewers are among those showing support for the victim.
Mia Brown lives in the same neighborhood as the victim and launched a campaign, asking Clevelanders to donate whatever they could to lift the spirits of 56-year-old Joe Lewis.
“To turn something negative like this around into this kind of positive, I think is a blessing,” Brown told FOX 8.
After FOX 8 aired the story about Lewis and the injuries he suffered at the hands of three teenagers during the robbery off of West 130th Street, our viewers wanted to know how they could help, and then the story spread across the country. Brown said she began receiving a steady stream of gifts and supplies to forward to Joe Lewis.
“I have a very close family member that has special needs, and you put yourself in that situation. I think a lot of people do or they know someone like Joe or they understand that someone like Joe shouldn’t have something like this happen,” she said.
Brown decided that Valentine’s Day would be the perfect day to deliver just the first batch of gifts and presents to Lewis, which included a backpack like the one taken from him during the robbery, and the art supplies that he uses to draw pictures and make cards for his neighbors. As she carried bags of presents into the Lewis home, she told him, “Me and some friends got together and we got you some new stuff, so you’re going to have Christmas today. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
The show of love and support has touched the hearts of Lewis and his 88-year-old father.
“I want to tell them ‘thank you,'” Lewis said.
His father, James Lewis, added, “that’s right, all right, thank you.”
Brown said she and her neighbors were filled with anger when they first heard what happened to Joe, but the response of so many good people has renewed their faith in humanity.
Before leaving the Lewis home, Brown gave Joe a hug, and the 56-year-old told her, “I’m getting better.”
Brown responded, “you’re getting better, that’s right.”
Cleveland police have placed a high priority on identifying the three attackers, and we are told that detectives in the first district are pursuing a number of leads.