Hate crime victim speaks out

An Eyewitness News Exclusive
October 29, 2009 5:36:04 PM PDT
He is speaking out for the first time to Eyewitness News. Jack Price was the victim of a vicious attack that nearly killed him.

"I was supposed to live and survive, and I did," Price said.

For the first time since his savage beating three weeks ago, Price finally tasted fresh air as he headed home from the hospital.

He's still in so much pain.

"'Please don't let me die.' That's all I kept saying to God is don't let me die," he explained.

In the middle of the night on October 8, security video captured three minutes of torture. Price was unable to escape two much larger men, who punched him and kicked him more than thirty times.

Police say Daniel Rodriguez, 21, and Daniel Aleman, 26, targeted Price simply because he's gay.

"If they feel half the pain I feel now, good for them. How much hatred can you have for something, anything? I wouldn't hate a dog with rabies, who attacked me and bit me in the throat. I couldn't do something like that to him," Price said.

After one of the men grabbed price's wallet and another let loose with one last punch, Price staggered away. He says he hid under a car, and then managed to carry himself more than ten blocks home where he called 911 for help.

"It was get in the house, survive or die in the street," he said.

When he got to the hospital, Price spent six days in a coma and another six days on a respirator. He's been in surgery four times. He's lost the vision in one of his eyes.

But in spite of it all, he feels lucky he's still alive and he vows to go on with his life.

"Remember what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," Price said.

Three weeks after the beating it's clear Price is still in tremendous pain. I talked to him for only 10 minutes. By the end of our chat his forehead was drenched in sweat. He just couldn't sit up straight any longer than that. He may be out of the hospital, but his recovery will take a very long time.

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