Man suffers traumatic brain injury after attack outside NW Portl - KPTV - FOX 12

Man suffers traumatic brain injury after attack outside NW Portland bar; suspect on the loose

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(Photos: Bridget Kitson) (Photos: Bridget Kitson)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A Packers fan was attacked outside a northwest Portland bar after watching the team’s playoff game Saturday.

Sam Whitehorn, 26, is in the intensive care unit at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury and part of his skull was removed during emergency surgery.

“That’s why it’s so hard because Sam is not a violent-type person,” said Kelly Whitehorn, his mother. “He’s just a normal, fun-loving, kind of softer side kid. He would never provoke anybody or be that kind of person.”

Whitehorn is an English major at Portland State University and works as a bartender to pay for school.

He does not remember the attack and has difficulty speaking.

Portland police officers responded to the report of the assault at 11:33 p.m. Saturday.

Witnesses told police Whitehorn was on the sidewalk between the 21st Avenue Quick Stop Market and Muu Muu’s when three men started an argument with him.

One man punched the victim once or twice, causing Whitehorn to fall and hit his head.

“Some people think you just punched somebody. No big deal. That’s not how it works,” said Bridget Kitson, Whitehorn’s girlfriend. “This is what can happen.”

Witnesses told Kelly Whitehorn and Kitson he was approached because he was wearing a Packers beanie.

“People approached him and were giving him grief about it because the Packers just lost,” said Kelly Whitehorn. “He was like ‘go away’ and they wouldn’t leave. They basically assaulted him for no reason.”

Whitehorn is improving and was able to walk with assistance Thursday morning, but doctors do not know if he’ll be the same person he was before the attack.

“He’s a writer and a poet. He loves poetry,” his mom said. “We want him to get back to that person he was before this happened.”

After word of the attack spread online, Kitson and Kelly Whitehorn say support has poured in from people in Oregon, Whitehorn’s home state of Arkansas and Packers fans across the country.

They are thankful for the kind messages and donations to a GoFundMe page to help with medical bills and loss of wages.

The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic man in his 30s, 5’11” tall with a thin build. He was clean cut and wearing a black jacket. He was with two or three other men and was last seen running east on NW Hoyt.

If you have any information about the  or know someone who fits that description, contact Portland Police.

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