Lewiston Living in Fear: One Man Killed in Clash with Young Somali Mob

***UPDATE, 6/16/18***

The victim of this brutal beating has unfortunately passed away.

Donald Giusti, 38, of Lewiston, succumbed to his injuries Friday at Central Maine Medical Center.

If anyone is is interested in donating to help the family pay for Giusti’s funeral services, donations can be made at the Salvation Army on 67 Park St. in Lewiston. Just let them know you’re looking to donate to services for Donald Giusti.

In a low-blow, a Portland Press Herald “journalist” chose the day of Giusti’s — or Donny as his friends called him — death to criticize the father of two’s character. The characterization appears to be an attempt to mitigate the blame for the assailants.

Maine First Media’s prayers are with Giusti’s friends and family in this difficult time.

 

6/14/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,

In the aftermath of uncharted tensions between Somalis and non-Somalis in Lewiston, one man is fighting for his life after being hit with a brick during a violent brawl.

According to Lewiston Police, the street fight broke out on Knox St. near Kennedy Park around 10:45 pm Tuesday night.

At least two dozen teenagers and pre-teens swarmed and assaulted three adult men with bats, sticks, rocks, bricks, fists and feet.

Above is cellphone video from the scene following the brutal beating.

According to Lewiston Police Department Public Information Officer, Lieutenant Dave St. Pierre, Maine State Police are now the lead agency investigating the potentially fatal incident. The handover is due to the critical nature of the victim’s condition. Lt. St. Pierre says Lewiston police are still aiding in the investigation.

While there is no official police report on what caused the melee, by piecing together various witness accounts, we can give a very basic outline.

Residents say tensions were high as harassment in the area around the park has been particularly bad the past couple of moths — including previous attacks by a gang of Somali kids at Kennedy Park. Word had spread about an anticipated fight that was going to erupt at the park Tuesday evening. So, a group of friends gathered looking for retribution. From witness reports it does sound like some members of the group had been drinking.

At one point, a car drove by and passengers opened fire into Kennedy Park with BB or pellet guns. The vehicle pulled over on Knox St., a few people from the park — including the victim — rushed over to confront the mob in the car.

Almost instantly, the three men were bombarded by at least a couple dozen young Somalis brandishing weapons. Police arrived quickly, but the assailants had already fled the scene.

One man –who was beaten with a brick to the head — was taken to the hospital and is listed in critical condition.

Wednesday, emotions were still boiling as residents gathered and discussed the tragic events of the prior night. According to Lt. St. Pierre, there were no further confrontations.

“To my knowledge, there have been no outward confrontations,” Lt. St. Pierre said. “Though people have been milling about and this issue is certainly a topic of concern for the community.”

Many residents who live in the area say they are in fear. Some Lewiston parents say they’re even scared to take their kids to the park.

Following an attack last month, Lewiston Police added extra patrols to Kennedy Park. Still, many Lewiston residents wish more could be done to make the city safe again. A common suggestion has been adding security cameras to the Kennedy Park area.

Lt. St. Pierre tells Maine First Media police do already have cameras pointing to various locations of the park.

If you have any information that could help with the investigation, Lt. St. Pierre urges you to contact State Police at 207-624-7200.

Maine First Media will continue to report on any new developments to this story.

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