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Palm Springs Man Severely Beaten in Early Morning Attack

Monday July 12, 2021

Justin Wicker, a California resident, remains in critical condition after suffering severe head and neck injuries as the result of an altercation in the early morning hours of July 9 according to the Palm Springs Police Department (PSPD), the Los Angeles Blade reports.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for his care.

"Justin was chased and severely beaten on early Friday morning July 9, 2021 in a horrible assault. He suffered a major head injury, underwent brain surgery, and is now in ICU at a local trauma hospital," writes the report on the GoFundMe page.

"He is stable and responsive and the prognosis for his recovery is cautiously optimistic. But the road ahead is clearly going to be a long and emotionally difficult one."

Wicker lives in Palm Springs and is a member of GMCLA (Gay Men's Choir of Los Angeles) as well as Modern Men In Palm Springs. He trained for the AIDS Lifecycle 2020 and has volunteered for numerous LGBT causes for years.

The Palm Springs Police Department posted a description of the crime on Facebook. The report said that Wicker and a friend were walking from a bar at 1:42AM on January 9 when they engaged in conversation with another man. "The victim told the male that he resembled the actor "Eddie Murphy." It was reported that the male became angry at this comment and a physical confrontation occurred. The male began chasing the victim. While running away, the victim slipped and struck his head on the ground. The subject chasing the victim left the area. The victim was transported to a local area hospital and is in critical condition."

The crime is being investigated as assault and battery. The Police department added: "We have seen social media rumors indicating this incident was a targeted hate crime. At this time, there is no reported information or evidence to suggest a hate crime occurred."

The report described the suspect as "a black male adult, approximately 5-08 wearing a light blue button up shirt, white shorts, and was last seen in a black convertible type vehicle."