Reward offered for info on suspects in 'savage' beating

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Silent Witness By Catherine Holland Silent Witness By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- He is a tall, thin and softspoken man who struggles to answer my questions in a labored and halting manner.

"Do you remember anything about the night one year ago when you were attacked and beaten?" I asked.

"Absolutely not," he said without hesitation.

His name is Victor Velasquez.  He is 49 years old and the nearly fatal beating that he received on a street in southwest Phoenix late one night one year ago left him with serious and permanent brain damage, a body broken and battered and a memory now full of gaping black holes.

"Absolutely not," he echoed to my question regarding his memories of that Saturday night last August.

Phoenix police say Velasquez was attacked and "savagely beaten" along Buckeye Road near 31st Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 20, 2011.

Velasquez  spent weeks in the hospital, where initially he was not expected to survive.  The one-time mechanic pulled through but now will need constant care for the rest of his life.

Phoenix police held a news conference Wednesday during which they asked for the public's help in tracking down those responsible for the vicious attack on Velasquez.

Investigators do have some leads, including a grainy surveillance video showing three men running southbound across Buckeye Road at about the time of the attack.

The Valley's Silent Witness Program is now offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information in the case.

If you have any infromation about what happened to Velasquez, call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (948-6377), 1-800-343-TIPS (8477) or 480-TESTIGO (837-8446). You can remain anonymous.