A FATHER-of-two is fighting for his life after a brutal attack as he tried to stop youths at a West Yorkshire park bullying his niece and nephew.
Josh Price, 21, had taken his young relatives to play at the Trinity Park in Ossett, last Saturday.
After asking some teenagers to stop bullying the children, a van pulled up close to the park, and two men ran towards Mr Price, knocking him to the ground and kicking and punching him.
Mr Price struggled to his feet and tried to run away, but the men followed him and continued their violent attack - even assaulting people nearby who came to his rescue, before they fled and left him for dead.
Mr Price was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary for life-saving surgery after suffering a stroke. He he is paralysed down the right-hand side of his body.
He also suffered a blood clot on his brain and was put into a medically-induced coma.
His father Stuart, 43, who was away on holiday in Spain when he heard of the incident and rushed home to be at his son’s side, said: “As a parent you never want to see your child like that. We are all numb and in total shock. We’re barely functioning as a family.
“Josh’s children need their dad, they’re asking where their daddy is and we can’t answer them, it’s devastating. We need the people who did this to Josh catching.”
Doctors have told the family they don’t know what the full extent of Josh’s injuries will be. At the moment he is paralysed down the right hand side of his body and his speech is impaired.
Mr Price has been moved from intensive care into a high dependency unit but doctors have warned that there is scarring on his brain and another blood clot could form at any time.
Jonny Bond, a coach at Ossett Trinity ARLFC, which Josh is a member of, said: “The club is absolutely devastated by this incident.
“Josh is part of our rugby family and we will support him and his family in any way we can on his long road to recovery.”
Detectives were called to the scene at about 9.40pm on Saturday.
Det lnsp Paul Harrison of Wakefield CID, said: “A 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident but has been released on police bail.
“Our enquiries are ongoing and we would like to hear from anyone who witnessed this vicious assault.”
Anyone with information should contact Wakeeld CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.