Help Garrett Heal

Hello all! My name is Cheyenne De Leon. My older brother was walking home from work at around 2p on Tuesday 10/2, when he was assaulted and had his phone stolen. His name is Garrett, he is 24 years old, and he is autistic. 

Garrett had gotten the brand new iPhone for his birthday. It's all he wanted. He talked about it for months on end. He had had it for around 3 days when it was taken from him, on his first day going to work since activating it. Find my iPhone was turned on, however we haven't been able to track it so far. 

We are not sure if he was specifically targeted for any reason, or if he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was almost home, about a block from our house, when he was assaulted by the attacker. The attacker grabbed his phone and ran to a car that had a driver ready to go. Unfortunately, being unable to comprehend the amount of danger he was in, my brother gave pursuit. All he knew was that he wanted his precious phone back. He ended up getting beaten and dragged down the street while hanging out of the car. Luckily, a very nice woman (we don't know her name) who happened to see the very last part of the incident rescued him from the street, and brought him to our local fire department (which incidentally was a few hundred feet from where this all happened). The firefighters gave him medical attention, and assessed that he had no injuries that required taking him to a hospital. Unfortunately, he has no ones numbers memorized. His phone is his lifeline- he would NEVER lose it. He couldn't contact mom or dad to pick him up, and he doesn't know our address off the top of his head (but he knows how to walk home if he knows where he is). He sat in the firehouse for an hour before finally asking if the firemen could walk him home, because he was too scared. Three firemen escorted him the two blocks from the firehouse to our house. We are incredibly thankful for all of the kind people that went above and beyond to help him in his time of need. 

For anyone who is curious, he is part of a group of special needs adults who work on the naval base as civilian contractors, loading and unloading ships for our troops. He was taught how to use public transportation in order to become more self-sufficient. He loves going to work and making his own money. Even with his condition, he makes an honest wage. Why can't the thugs that mugged him do the same?

We reported this to his case worker, who got in contact with his workplace. They have done right by him. He is being offered counseling sessions (which will have all expenses covered), as well as a leave from his job, where they will hold his position for a full year while he takes the time he needs to recover. 

Why make a GoFundMe? Well, his brand new phone had insurance against damages (a broken screen, a faulty circuit, etc.), however we are unable to turn the phone in to get a new one, so we are out $1000 and he no longer has his birthday present. He feels guilty for what happened, blaming himself for losing his phone. He wants to pay for what he lost, but we don't want him to have to pay for something that is not his fault. Especially after enduring the trauma he already has. The money would go towards paying off the phone that was stolen from him, as well as replacing the clothes that were ruined when he was dragged down the street. Maybe even to buy him another birthday present- a game or some dinosaur toys. We just want to make him feel better. 

At the very least, we can get some exposure. We can extend a warning to others that truly heartless people exist in the world.

For any questions regarding the incident, or if anyone is curious about updates in the days/weeks following the incident, feel free to contact me!
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Cheyenne De Leon 
San Diego, CA
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