STOCKTON -- Hospitalized, Roderick Tyler is bandaged and badly hurt, but even with a broken jaw he wrote and shared “love always wins,” hours after he was brutally attacked by a gang of men.
“I thought he was gonna die because, you know, when stuff like that happens you expect the worse,” Tyler's wife Aminda Sovuth said.
Sovuth and Tyler own the House of Ice Cream on El Dorado Street in Stockton.
“We work at the ice cream shop every single day. We have a little girl that we go to work for, you know, it just hurts... 'cause he didn't do anything to anybody,” she said.
Sovuth said Wednesday night at around 9, her husband was taking out the trash when he was assaulted. She said that she did not see the attackers. But neighbor, Deborah Wellington says she did.
“Open up the blinds, I open up the window, and then I notice this gang of guys just around this one young individual,” Wellington said.
Wellington said there were at least six men and said there were other witnesses but no one stopped to help.
“They would have killed him. I mean they were stomping him, they were kicking him, they had him in the corner. There was nothing he could have done but take the hits,” she said.
Wellington told FOX40, she ran downstairs to confront the group, face-to-face she told them to stop.
“Pulling up they shirts and showing me that they had guns and I said, 'Listen, baby. That don't scare me. Where I come from that's a daily occurrence.'"
It was then that she warned them that the police were on their way.
“If you want to go to jail then stay here,” Wellington said.
That’s when they scattered. She took Tyler to her apartment to care for him before medics arrived.
“You know what I don't feel it was right, I don't feel it was wrong, I just felt like it was what needed to be done,” she said.
Wellington and the Tylers said before this incident, they didn’t know each other's names. But now, they know Wellington as a heroine.
“I'm so thankful for her... she's so awesome. 'Cause you know people nowadays when you see that you just try to ignore it and run away but she actually help us,” Sovuth said.
FOX40 helped put Wellington in touch with the Tylers. She visited them at the hospital after our interview, and Tyler thanked her in person.
The family is also raising money for his medical bills. Sovuth said they don’t have insurance so she says every little bit helps.