Beaten into a coma, assault victim speaks out

A teenager says he knows he is lucky to be alive, after being beaten into a coma by a man who became notorious for rapping an apology in court.
Aaron Hodder, 16, was beaten into a coma in August. His attacker rapped his apology in court 9:42

A teenager says he knows he is lucky to be alive, after being beaten into a coma by a man who became notorious for rapping an apology in court.

Aaron Hodder, 16, was on his way to meet his mother at her workplace in August when he was jumped by Matthew King, 22, in an alley behind Peter's Pizza on Hamlyn Road in St. John's.

"I remember seeing him and he was just flipping out with his shirt in his hand," Hodder said of the moment King attacked him. "So, he was looking for a fight and that's all I remember."

"He hit me once and I fell and then he started kicking me in the face like, 20 times."

Mother's worst nightmare

Meanwhile, Tina Tilley, Hodder's mother, was just finishing up her shift at Peter's Pizza when she heard someone moaning outside. When she looked out, she saw her worst nightmare - her son, lying on the ground in a pool of blood.

"I ran back to work, not knowing what to do," said Tilley. "And, the paramedics came and got me and we went to the hospital. She told me we were going to the Health Sciences Centre because he had some trauma to the head."

Hodder suffered fractures to his skull and face, and he was so severely injured, he ended up in a coma for three days. 

King sentenced to two years in jail

King pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm, and was sentenced last week to two years in jail.

Matthew King, 22, of St. John's, pleaded guilty to assaulting Aaron Hodder. (CBC )

In court, King told the judge he drank two dozen beer before he attacked the boy and he thought the victim was someone else.

King also rapped an apology in court to Hodder.

Victim's life not back to normal

Meanwhile, Hodder's life has not returned to normal.

"I had a lot of swelling in my brain and bleeding and I lost a lot of my vision and I still can't smell anything,"  said Hodder.

"I can't go to school and stuff and my vision got a lot worse, so at night time, I can't go out with my friends."

"I'd just like to see him happy," an emotional Tilley said of her son.

"When I leave my house now, I usually got a weapon with me," added Hodder. "I'm scared. I don't know what's going to happen."

Both Hodder and his mother hope he will recover soon so he can get back to school.