Man with autism attacked on light rail, father says
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Police have identified the man who they say attacked a man who has autism while he was on the light rail.
The attack happened on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) told FOX 46 that police were able to identify Quandarius Funderburk as the suspect in the assault using surveillance video.
FOX 46 spoke exclusively with the victim's father, who is very upset about the attack.
"I just want my son to be able to make it in the world, I don't want him to be afraid," father Anthony Proctor says.
His 21-year-old son, Chris, participates in a work-study program and is assigned to UNC Charlotte, school officials said. Chris was on a class trip with students and teachers heading back from uptown early Wednesday afternoon when he was attacked on the light rail, according to his dad.
"He didn't have a chance to defend himself because the guy just kept hitting him in the head," Anthony said.
Anthony says Chris was sitting in a seat on the train when Funderburk came up to him and started punching him in the head. A teacher tried to intervene, but the attacker hopped off when the train stopped at the Parkwood station right outside of uptown.
Anthony says he believes the attacker knew Chris was autistic.
"He had to, with the group of people that was with my son."
He believes the attacker may have been trying to steal Chris' cell phone. He says he's angry that someone would attack his son, who wasn't doing anything.
Chris still wanted to go to school Thursday, just one day after the attack. His father says he understands what happened to him, and that he wanted his dad to know that he's ok, but he is still in some pain.
He said 'that was a bad person' and he told me 'dad he was wrong for doing that,' and he said 'Christopher fine' and he pointed up to his head, saying his head hurts."
CATS confirmed that they do have the video surveillance of the attacker, but they are not releasing it at this time.
This report has been updated to reflect that Chris particiaptes in a work-study program and is assigned to UNC Charlotte.