For the next twenty minutes, Ryan gave his statement of what happened at the water park. His description wasn't as colorful as Collin's, since he was being beaten by Bill Shappell, about his head and arms and sides, all the while he was curled in the fetal position. He did mention to them he was bleeding all over and could hardly breathe, since the blood was blocking his throat some.
While that was going on, Megan and Shelley arrived with their mom's in tow. Mary filled them in with what she knew, up to that point. The girls, for their part, apologized for not helping protect her son, but explained that it all happened so fast. They told Mary and Mr. Ken that they had to scramble out of the way as Collin was trying to avoid being hit by Raleigh and that the attack ended almost as soon as it began.
They explained that Collin was able to trip up Raleigh and get away and then was able to come up and hit Bill across the side of his head as hard as he could with his fist. They both said how proud they were of how Collin was able to take out the much larger teenager, with just one punch. They also said that once Raleigh saw what happened to his friend, he began to run off, but by that time, the security guys got there and held him. They added that was when Mr. Ken got there to help Ryan who had all that blood gushing out of his nose, as well as all over him.
Unbeknownst to the gathered group, the local television reporter had his tape recorder going and caught the entire explanation. He quickly backed out and called his station to request an 'on the scene' report over the air. He wanted them to break into the current program, explaining it was a rerun anyways and this could be the best lead-in to the nightly news at six.
Sheriff Barnes and Deputy Fischer also heard the girl's story, and since they were on the list of people to interview, they asked the girls, and their mom's, if they would give their statements right then and there.
The girls were afraid, at first, but after Collin explained how his interview went, they decided to get it out of the way, too. The Sheriff and Deputy took both girls, and mom's, into a private room and asked practically the same questions. Since there were two being interviewed at the same time, it did take a bit longer, but after thirty-five minutes, they were all finished.
"Hi, Eric," said Deputy Fischer, when he came back to the waiting room.
"Hi, Deputy Dan," smiled Eric as he greeted the deputy.
"Did you happen to see what happened at the water park, today?" politely asked Fischer.
"Ah, I … I'm sorry, Deputy Dan, I didn't. I … I was with Mr. Ken and my mom and Mary and Brad when it all happened. We … we came up just when it was over and then Mr. Ken began to yell out to someone to call 9-1-1, and to get him some towels. I was sort of scared to see my … my 'big brother' lying there, with all that blood all over him and the sand."
As Eric said that, it all came rushing came back to him, and he began to outwardly cry. Judy and Mr. Ken rushed to the boy at the same time so Ken let his mom handle the youngster.
After a few minutes, Deputy Fischer went over to the lad and apologized to him and his mom for upsetting him so much. Dan said he hadn't realized how seeing that might have affected the young boy. Eric accepted Dan's apology by giving the man a smile and a big hug.
The television was on in the ER Waiting Room, and no one was paying attention to it until someone heard the reporter mention that he was reporting live from the scene.
"Hey, everyone, the reporter is here, live, and out front. Let's hear what he has to say."
The gathered group all turned to the TV and listened.
"Good evening everyone, I'm Richard Casey from KCBA reporting live from the local regional hospital with more information about this afternoon's apparent attack and beating that marred the Grand Opening of the new Lakeside Water Park.
"This reporter has learned that one of the boys, who were attacked, was so severely beaten that, and I am quoting here, 'Ryan, who had all that blood gushing out of his nose, as well as all over him,' unquote must have had a tremendous loss of blood. It was reported from the scene earlier that there were huge amounts of blood left on the sand after they took, I take it Ryan is the boy's name, away on a stretcher and loaded him onto one of the Water Safety and Rescue Emergency boats, and hightailed it to a waiting ambulance.
"From inside, I was also able to find out they intend to do surgery later this evening to cauterize some of the vessels in the boy's nose, in order to stop the continuous bleeding from the lad's nose and they will also, at the same time, straighten out the boy's broken nose.
"Also today, a Mr. James Shappell came into the hospital and, seeing one of the boys involved in the altercation at the water park, accused one, Collin Wilkinson, for severely beating his son, and possibly causing his son's total hearing loss, in one ear. But it was Mr. Ken Thomas who put James Shappell in his place by telling the man that is was HIS son who attacked Collin and Ryan.
"Later, it was confirmed by an anonymous source, that … IT was indeed HIS son who was the attacker, and who is responsible for the way Ryan Taylor came to the hospital this afternoon.
"Eye witness accounts say that two older teens, one named Raleigh, no last name given, and Bill Shappell, accosted both Collin and Ryan at the water park, before viciously attacking them both. It was Collin who was able to get away from his attacker, Raleigh, and subsequently attack Bill Shappell and get him off his friend Ryan. Luckily, the one and only hit by Collin was enough to do the job, and also put Ryan's attacker into the same hospital, as well, with a possible cracked cheek and a busted eardrum.
"Luckily enough, there were plenty of eye witnesses at today's altercation at the new Lakeside Water Park. With that said … police shouldn't have a difficult time in determining the real offenders, with eventual justice being quickly served.
"Stay tuned to this channel for further developments involving today's fight that marred the Grand Opening of the new Lakeside Water Park. This is Richard Casey reporting for KCBA TV. Now back to our regular programming."
Just then, a large number of Ryan's friends came into the ER waiting room. They all went to Mary Taylor first and offered their condolences for Ryan's injuries. They then turned to Collin and together the group of teens exited the room and went elsewhere to talk.
FIGHT MARS WATER PARK
Read the Sunday morning newspaper headline. But that wasn't the only media that was playing up the altercation card at the Lakeside Water Park, the day before. The television and the radio were also using that story as their lead-in for the newscasts that morning as well.
"Morning, Bro," called out Collin, as he walked into the kitchen to get some breakfast.
"Hi, Collin, did you sleep much last night?" asked the boy's Big Bro.
"Naw, I was all hyped up over what happened to Ryan. … I wonder if that was how he felt when I was put in the hospital, after Rodney hit me?" spoke Collin out loud.
"Collin, please don't beat yourself up over what happened, yesterday. By what you told Sheriff Barnes, it sounded like those boys were after you, no matter what. If they hadn't gotten you there, they may have attacked you two some where's else … where no one could have gotten help as fast as we did," Ken Thomas said, trying to settle down his foster 'brother'.
"Yeah, I know, but … well, we didn't do anything to them at all … at any time. That's what I don't get. They said something about us not being able to get them out of high school. I don't get that at all! They were allowed to continue in their classes after what they tried to have done to me, and should graduate next week. They sure picked a bad time to start something. That's what I don't get," Collin continued to explain to Mr. Ken.
Just then the phone rang and Mr. Ken answered it.
"Hello, Three Finger Cove. … Oh, hi, Mary … How's Ryan? … That's good! … Ah, he didn't huh? … So, the police were there again this morning. … They asked Ryan about a pipe? I don't get it. Why would they ask him about a pipe? No one that I saw had a pipe with them at the water park. ... … Oh, oh, now I understand. They said Shelley and Megan both said something about it, and Fischer was following up. … Yeah, I like Dan, he's a good man. …
"So, we should expect a visit from him sometime this morning, too, if not sooner. … … Collin wants to know when we can come over to see Ryan. … He's resting right now and … and maybe later after lunch would be best. Okay, I got it, and thanks, Mary, for calling. Collin and I were wondering what was going on with him. … Okay, we'll see you later this afternoon. Bye!" With that last word, Mr. Ken hung up.
"Well, what did she say? I heard some of what's happened, but come on … tell me," pleaded an over anxious teenager.
Just then the phone rang again. This time Collin beat his Big Bro in getting to it so he answered, "What did you forget, 'mom'?"
There was silence on Collin's side of the conversation as he was listening to whoever was on the other end.
"Yeah, sorry … I thought it was 'mom'. … I didn't even remember that when they talked to me last night, at the hospital. … … I think they were just there at the hospital talking to Ryan and his mom. … She just called here and talk to Big Bro. … … Oh, oh, okay. … I'll be waiting for him. … Thanks for calling and … and I guess I'll see you at school tomorrow. … Oh! … … Yeah, sorry, we're gonna go over there after lunch, too, so I should see you then. … Thanks again! … Love you, too! Bye!"
Mr. Ken had sort of a smirkey smile on his face as he looked over at Collin.
"What?" the teen exclaimed when he saw his Big Bro's facial expression. … "Don't say a word! You were once my age, too, and I bet you," said Collin as he pointed his finger directly at Mr. Ken, "said the same thing, once or twice, to a girl you really liked!"
Collin sat down at the breakfast table with his mentor. Neither one said a word to the other.
Then with both feeding their faces and neither lifting their head they both said in unison, "So!"
They both laughed and that broke the stalemate.
"You go first, Bro, since 'mom' called first," smiled Collin as he said it.
"Okay, fair enough. … Mary said the surgery went well, enough. They didn't begin until after eight last night, and by the time they finished up and got him out of post-op and into a room, it was midnight and she didn't want to wake us. She also said Ryan didn't have a good night. Even with all the drugs they had in him, he tossed and turned all night. She thinks he had a nightmare, too, and … and she believes he relived the whole thing all over. They just gave him a sedative and they don't expect him to be awake until after lunch sometime. She also said he'll probably spend another night there, because he didn't get enough rest," Mr. Ken additionally explained.
"I take it they asked him about a lead pipe … Dan and whomever," interrupted Collin.
"Yes, and my guess, by your conversation, that was Shelley and she just talked to Dan, too, and he's on his way over here?" asked Ken.
"Yep, Shelley told me she and Meg will stop by the hospital, later this afternoon, too. … And, I guess I'd better go put on something better than this before Dan gets here, huh," added the teen.
"Why? He's seen you with even less on … if I remember correctly," laughed the twenty something man at his charge.
Collin just stood there in his boxers with his mouth wide open not knowing how to respond to that. He couldn't think of any time the man would have seen him with less on. Just then the doorbell rang and Chief got up and went quickly through the hall towards the front door. Mr. Ken and Collin followed behind her.
"Good Morning, Dan," greeted Mr. Ken to Deputy Dan Fischer. "Come on in. We've had two phone calls this morning, so we know why you are here. Care for some breakfast or at least a cup of coffee, while you're here?" offered the Cove's owner.
"Coffee sounds fine, Mr. Ken," replied Dan Fischer. "Hello, Collin, I just came from the hospital, and your friend … well, let's just say he doesn't look anything like himself right now."
All Collin could do was to lower his head. He began to follow the men back into the kitchen, but thought better of it and went upstairs to change into something, more appropriate.
Ken got out a coffee cup and poured Dan a hot brew and placed it on the table. The two guys sat down and soon Collin joined them. For the next few minutes, it was 'tick-tock' quiet.
Dan finally cleared his throat and said, "So … I guess you know why I am over here this morning, Collin?"
"Yeah … 'mom' filled in Bro, here, and then Shelley called just a few minutes ago. … I'm sorry I didn't remember about that lead pipe last night when you and Sheriff Barnes talked to me. I just didn't remem…"
Just then Deputy Fischer held up his hand to stop the teen and tell the lad he totally understood. He explained that many times the investigation officer goes back to the witnesses or those involved for follow up. That way, it is to see if they remembered anything new about the altercation or whatever it was that caused the police to be involved in the first place.
"I'm going to be meeting a detective here, in a few minutes. He'll want to interview you, Collin … now, that we have some more information to work with over Rodney Costa's assault," offered Deputy Fischer.
Detective Sergeant Brant Matthias arrived, soon thereafter, and got right down to asking Collin the questions he had for the teenager.
"Collin, some additional information has come to light … concerning a friend of yours. You know Rodney … Rodney Costa, don't you?" asked Detective Matthias.
"Yes, sir, I know Rodney," replied Collin.
"Okay, Collin, I thought so. Well … we understand that during your altercation with William Shappell and Raleigh Mitchell yesterday … one of those boys mentioned something. Now, I know you've talked to the Sheriff and Deputy Fischer here, and made your statement, but … well, I was wondering if, by chance, you ah … may have remembered something … anything else that may have been said or … or even indicated by either of those two gentlemen," posed Detective Brandt Matthias.
"Those two are NOT gentlemen!" emphatically announced Collin. Then, after a few moments, he added, "I know what you are referring to, you know, about what was said during our fight yesterday. It just slipped my mind when I was talking to the Sheriff and Deputy Fischer. I was so concerned about Ryan that I … I wasn't thinking clearly. I had totally forgotten. It wasn't until this morning … that I had two people say something to me that I finally remembered."
"And what was that, Collin? Remember, it is important that we get a full disclosure about what was said or NOT said by either Bill or Raleigh. So … can you think back again to that time and tell me what you may have now remembered?" asked Brant.
"Yes … I remember Raleigh, he said something. He mentioned something about a lead pipe and he mentioned it in reference to Rodney … ah, Rodney Costa. I can't fully remember his exact words … but I think he said something like, 'it wasn't a baseball bat but a lead pipe'. Bill then punched him and told him to be quiet. After that, they attacked us, and things got pretty intense," finished Collin.
Detective Matthias and Deputy Fischer talked to Collin for more than a half hour about his fight at the water park, and what he remembered about the entire altercation. They asked their questions one way, then another. It was their job to make sure the witness was absolutely sure of what he saw, and heard. When the two County police officers left Three Finger Cove, they quickly called their boss, Sheriff Barnes, and told him they felt they now had a good case for a search warrant. The wheels of justice began to turn.