An Alabama teenager was brutally attacked and left unconscious with a broken nose by a group of several men at a country music festival on Saturday night.
Reid Watts, 18, attended the “Rock the South” music festival with a group of his friends when a fellow concertgoer accused him of spilling a drink on them, which eventually led to the teen getting beaten up by a group of “30- to 40-year-old” men.
Watts said he tried to clear up any hostility with his accuser as he didn’t have a drink on him and the two reportedly shook hands, but moments later while some of his friends left for the restroom, he was attacked from behind.
“Some dude said I was spilling beer on him or something along those things, and then I talked to him because I didn’t have a drink on me at the time, like I didn’t have anything, I talked to him and shook his hand because I thought everything was okay because I explained to him it wasn’t me,” Watts recalled to WBMA.
“Then a few minutes later, I was walking back and got hit in the back of the head, then I hit the ground and tried to cover my face, then I got knocked out and that was really all I remember,” Watts added.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
Watts’ girlfriend, Katie Hudgins, said she was left traumatized after watching the group of men beat up her boyfriend in front of her, and even rob the defenseless teen.
“It was horrible, I’m traumatized, I felt so helpless because I couldn’t get in there and get to him and I had to sit there and watch him get beat up while he’s unconscious, it’s horrible,” Hudgins said.
The brawl wasn’t broken up until festival security got to the teen and rushed him out, Watts’ mother said as she asked for help finding her son’s attackers.
“Please help me find the cowards who did this to my son tonight at Rock the South. There were several grown men (30s-40s) who jumped on him and beat him unconscious while his girlfriend stood there screaming and crying for help,” Kaci Howard said in a Facebook post. “They continued beating him while he was on the ground until security finally got to them and got Reid and Katie out of there and to an ambulance.”
Watts was rushed to a local hospital, where Howard shared a photo of her beaten-up son with swollen eyes, a reddened face, and wearing a neck brace while being examined.
“He has a fractured nose, concussion, stitches, knots the size of softballs on the back of his head. He never even saw it coming,” Howard added.
Although it is unclear when the attack happened, singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton was headlining Saturday’s concert at York Farms in Cullman, Alabama.
One bystander claimed he tried to help Watts, saying he couldn’t watch his own friends get jumped like that, so he didn’t want to see a stranger beaten up either.
“I was thinking maybe if it was my little brother or one of my friends, I would hope someone would do the same. It was just so many people standing around watching,” Chase Brown told the outlet.
Watts was released from the hospital and has been healing at home following the attack.
“I’m all right, and it could’ve been a lot worse,” Watts said.
It is unclear what exactly led to the assault.
Police opened an investigation and initially asked festival-goers for help identifying the men responsible for Watts’ injuries.
But cops have said they no longer need more information as investigators are working the case and will file charges soon, with a press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
“The part that we are the most concerned with is that portion where Mr. Reid is on the ground and it’s obvious that he is unconscious, you can see that his legs are not moving and he continues to be punched in the face,” Chief David Nassetta of the Cullman Police Department told the WBMA.
Festival organizers offered a $10,000 reward and lifetime tickets for information that would lead to the arrest of Watts’ attackers.
The festival also called the perpetrators “gutless cowards,” but thanked everyone for sharing information and photos.
“We’ve always been about community. We are proud of how our fans have come together like never before. Thank you RTS Family for your great work,” the festival said on Instagram.