A gang of four to five African-American men whacked a brass pipe on an 18-year-old girl’s face, leaving her 12 teeth missing and her top lip ripped. The horrific act happened when the girl’s boyfriend tried to defend her from the men’s sexually explicit catcalling abuse.
Bikini-clad girl whacked in the face
— r/ (@bzdt3) July 31, 2015
At Around 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jessica Byrnes-Laird and boyfriend Jared Pelletier parked at the A&Y Quick Stop in Haughton, La., NBC 6 reported. Laird was still wearing her bikini coming from a day at a beach. Her boyfriend went out of the car to buy cigarettes while she chose to stay inside the car.
While her boyfriend was inside the store, an African-American man approached their car and started verbally abusing Laird with sexual comments. Coming back from the store, Pelletier saw what was happening.
“I walk out of the station and there’s these guys staring at [Jessica] saying sexual comments,” said Pelletier.
A brawl erupted between the two men. However, the catcaller happened to be with three of his friends who came into his defense. Mobbed by at least four men, Pelletier tried driving the car away. At this point, one of the men picked up a brass rod and threw it through the passenger side where Laird was sitting. The pipe smashed directly at her face.
“I looked down and saw my teeth in my hand and I immediately gushed blood,” Laird told NBC 6.
Half of her top lip was ripped from her face and her lower lip endured a deep gash from one of her teeth that were knocked out.
“Getting used to eating and talking, it’s been difficult. It’ll take months of endurance and patience, but it’ll be fine. Getting new teeth, and getting my smile back is something to look forward to,” she said.
Recovering from the trauma
In a separate interview with KTBS, Laird said she is still recovering from the emotional trauma caused by the incident.
“There’s a little bit of fear, honestly, because going through this make you realize how delicate life is, and you never know what can happen,” Byrnes-Laird said. “Things happen so suddenly, without warning.”
Police are now looking for the suspects based on CCTV footage provided by the store. (Watch below)
Laird, meanwhile, is going to need at least 4 tooth implants which cost $200 apiece. The horrific attack has temporarily preventing her from going to work. While she has medical and dental insurance, it will not cover all the expenses need to repair her face and teeth.
Laird’s family has started a Gofundme page for her. The page now has $17,000 donated by 498 people in 6 days.
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