Three years ago, Jets fan James Mohr was viciously attacked following a Jets vs Chiefs game. Fans Against Violence immediately contacted the Mohr family to offer oursupport. Anna Mohr, James’ sister, has been a big part of FAV since that day. With every incident that occurs, the feelings they had that day come rushing back to James’ family, particularly
Anna. When Anna heard about Alex Arredondo, the Anaheim Angels fan attacked after the Angels’ playoff game against the Kansas City Royals, it really hit home with her and she immediately felt the need to reach out and offer some type of support.
The following is the inspirational letter she wrote to the Alex Arredondo and his family. Anna agreed to allow us post her letter in the hopes that it might help other victims and their families.
We would like to thank the Mohr Family and the Arredondo Family for allowing us to share this beautiful letter.
Dear Arredondo Family,
I do not know you, but we share something in common. It is something that most people are fortunate not to know or understand or experience. It is something that happens so quickly, so unexpectedly, so inexplicably, and yet it has changed our lives.
My brother was savagely beaten after a Jets/Chiefs game in December of 2011. He spent a week in the hospital, underwent hours of surgery to repair the broken bones in his face and due to the severe concussion he sustained and the bleeding on his brain, he was unable for months to do the basic daily things that come so easily to the rest of us.
I’m sure there are some things with which James struggles that he doesn’t share with me, or anyone for that matter. But I do know that now, almost three years later he still experiences headaches and visionary problems. Sometimes I wonder if the physical scars remind him of his traumatic ordeal, and I have to close my eyes and pray that no matter what he sees or feels, he knows he’s still as beautiful as he ever was and that his perseverance and strength are admirable and inspiring. I could not possibly be more proud of him.
I was, for lack of a better term, a complete mess when this happened. I was so overwhelmed with emotions it began to feel debilitating. At first, I was scared. We didn’t know the extent of his injuries and I’m the type of person who assumes the worst. When I knew he was conscious, fear turned to anger that someone could do this to another human being. As details emerged, anger turned to sadness. As witnesses recall, he responded to taunts from a group of people who targeted him for reasons that will probably forever be unknown. My best guess is because he was walking alone. He doesn’t remember what happened next. It’s believed he was hit from behind with a bottle or some other blunt object. (His injuries were consistent with this theory.) When I learned that my baby brother, who I will always look at as this adorable little boy, was left on the ground in a parking lot in the middle of a cold New York December, facedown in a pool of his own blood, I was physically ill for days. To think that someone could take someone so important to me and my family and toss him away like he was litter was such a sickening feeling, and it completely shook my faith in humanity and God.
I will not promise you that these feelings and thoughts will ever go away completely. I still have moments of sadness and rage and even guilt that I wasn’t there to protect him. But I can promise that over time, if you can find the strength to seek out a silver lining, life can in some aspects get even better. I have learned not to sweat the small stuff. I’ve come to love and appreciate family more than ever. I recognize the fragility of life and don’t take a second I spend with James for granted. I have restored my faith and can again see that for every act of evil, you can find a hundred acts of kindness. That last lesson was learned quickly, thanks to Fans Against Violence. When I would go home from the hospital at night, exhausted and upset and feeling alone, I’d have a mailbox full of messages from people I had never met, spread out all across the country, who just wanted to express their support. Sometimes something as simple as kind words can provide desperately needed comfort. I hope this letter does just that.
And to Alex, my heart breaks that you are suffering through this because of someone else’s stupidity, recklessness and complete disregard for your well-being. Please know that there are thousands and thousands of people thinking about you, praying for you, and cheering you on through your recovery. It is my great hope that one day you will be able to look back on this experience and know it made you a stronger and better man.
And finally, one day, when the pain subsides and the wounds begin to heal, I hope you can forgive. Emotional recovery is just as important, and it is hard to do when you hang on to the anger and hatred. It is not easy for me to know that the people who assaulted my brother get to carry on with their lives, never held accountable for their crimes, while the rest of us have to pick up broken pieces. I’m sure you’re experiencing immense anger right now, and you have a right to. But when I look at the big picture, I pity them. We have our families and our extended family at FAV. We have the support of so many. We still have our brothers, most importantly! It is a safe assumption that people who do things like this are missing the fundamentals that teach right from wrong, good from bad, and I find that extremely sad. So try to focus on Alex’s recovery, and celebrate what a tough and brave man he is!
If there is anything I can do to help you get through this, I hope you will reach out. Here’s to a speedy recovery, Alex! Thinking about you all the way from New York!