Self-Advocate Dies After Beating From Teens
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 7, 2003
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT-- In 2000, Ricky Whistnant won the Peter Kirsche Award for Self Advocacy from The Arc/Connecticut Inc.
"Rick was a great big guy with a great big heart," said The Arc's director Peg Dignoti. "There was a goodheartedness about him, a kindness about him."
Now friends and neighbors are trying to figure out why several teenagers attacked Whistnant Saturday afternoon, apparently causing his death.
Three teens have been arrested for the assault. Police are waiting for autopsy results to determine what charges to file against the trio.
The incident, which took place in the lobby of Whistnant's apartment building was captured and recorded by security cameras.
One attacker allegedly flung a full bottle of soda against Whistnant's head so hard the 39-year-old man fell sideways, hitting his head against a wall as he collapsed.
A friend is calling his death a "hate crime".