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Justine Lenkowski: Mother of assault victim issues plea for safety

To the editor:

I’m the mother of Daniel Couchon, who was assaulted in Northampton. I took the photo of him that the media has been using, because I wanted him to see what his attacker did to his face before he went to surgery.

There were no other injuries; they just wanted to mess up his face.

No mother should ever have to look at their child in that condition because they were targeted because of race (Dan was called “whitey” during the attack), religion, gender, or whatever reason that would cause someone to act with such rage.

I am very grateful for the Northampton City Council’s immediate response to this horrible act which happened in our beautiful neighboring city. Along with Daniel’s sister Elizabeth, I was very happy to be there at the council meeting to see its response. We were comforted.

But until this group is caught, I’m afraid the streets are not safe at night. This is my plea to our young males, gay or straight: Do not leave an establishment, or walk alone to your car. There is safety in numbers. Be safe.

Daniel has been healing well and is back to work. He might need a little more surgery on his nose. He is a handsome young man.

Justine Lenkowski

Easthampton

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