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Judge asks man, 20, to explain 'savage' random attack. His reply? 'I don't know how to explain it
A judge asked a 20-year-old man to explain his "savage" random attack on a librarian caught on surveillance video last year. His reply? "I don't know how to explain it," he said. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Judge asks man, 20, to explain 'savage' random attack. His reply? 'I don't know how to explain it

Surveillance video of a trio of attackers brutally beating up a librarian — who did nothing more than walk down a Cincinnati street just after midnight last year — is difficult to watch.

  • The three attackers approached the victim, in his 40s, and asked him for a cigarette, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
  • The victim was tackled to the sidewalk and was punched and kicked about 50 times in a beat down that lasted about a minute, the paper said.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

  • He suffered internal brain bleeding, the Enquirer said, and blood came out of his ear.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

  • For good measure, one of the attackers made off with the victim's cellphone, the paper said.
  • And the victim was left in crumpled heap as the attackers casually walked away.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Detective Dan Kreider told the Enquirer it was one of the two worst beating cases he's ever handled.

How did a judge react?

The surveillance video also was hard for Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Jody Luebbers to look at. She had been viewing it on a laptop Thursday in court when she suddenly stopped it, the paper reported.

"That's enough," Luebbers said, according to the Enquirer. "I really can't watch any more."

Standing before the judge for sentencing was one of the attackers, 20-year-old John Watts, who pleaded guilty last month to the felonious assault, the paper said.

Watts was the culprit who tackled the librarian to the sidewalk, assistant prosecutor Allison Oswall said, the Enquirer reported.

But the paper said the judge wanted Watts to tell her something else: Why did he randomly tackle a man and then help beat him up so badly that Luebbers couldn't stomach looking at the clip for one more second?

John Watts (Image source: Hamilton County Justice Center)

"I just attacked him," Watts replied.

"Why did this happen?" the judge pressed.

How did Watts finally reply?

The Enquirer reported that Watts, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, paused for a few seconds. Then he came up with the answer of the century.

"I don't know how to explain it," he replied, the paper said.

Watts' attorney, Doug Nicholas, said alcohol and peer pressure led to the May 15 attack near the downtown Main Library, the Enquirer said.

What else did the judge say?

Luebbers was displeased that Watts was unable to explain why he attacked the victim "for absolutely no reason," the paper reported, adding that she referenced Watts taking the trouble to pick up a container of lip balm he'd dropped to the sidewalk but failed to assist the victim.

The judge called the attack "senseless, savage and horrific," the Enquirer reported.

What else did Watts' lawyer say?

Watts had no previous criminal record in adult court or juvenile court, his attorney said, according to the Enquirer, which added that he was working two jobs at the time of the incident and split time between his mother's and father's houses.

What was Watts' sentence?

Luebbers sentenced Watts to seven years in prison, the paper said.

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →