Fundraiser launches for battered RVA Street Art Festival security guard

Posted at 1:09 AM, Nov 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-27 01:09:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Black and blue with a swollen neck and  face, 66-year-old security guard Jack Newsom can somehow muster the strength to laugh.

"I don't know what happened,” he said. “I didn't see it."

Richmond police say Newsom was attacked late Saturday night after the permanent installation known as the RVA Street Art Festival, at the old GRTC bus depot, had closed up for the night.

The 5.5 acre spot sat vacant since 2010, other than a security guard on site, until the second annual RVA Street Art Festival transformed it. Artist from all over spent four days painting the industrial, long-dark site.

"I came outside like I usually do to go on my rounds of the building and that was it," Newsom said.

Who delivered the beat-down and what did they use to do it?  Newsom says he can't remember.

"If it was a brick, I wouldn't be here, I guess," he said.

Since the beating, organizers have announced they're closing up the festival, at least for now.

Newsom says with the injuries he's suffered, he's not sure if he can build up enough courage to go back.  After all, It's an unarmed security detail.

"My eyes, my mouth, my nose, they're all messed up," he said.

Newsom added, if it had to happen, he'd rather it be he, instead of someone else.  Sadly he says, the beating almost cost him his life, and all the thugs got away with was 60 bucks.

"I hope they don't do it to somebody else,” he said.  “I don't want anyone else to go through this."

A fundraiser was started Tuesday to help security guard Jack Newsom pay for medical expenses. If you wish to donate, you can find the link here.