On a day in which peace and good will should be abound, this wasn’t exactly the case in Syracuse. As local musician Joe Grosvent, best known as member of Phoenix Eleven and his cousin James McElyea were brutally attacked near Hanover Square.
As Grosvent and McElyea came upon a group harassing a homeless man outside of the Clinton Street Pub, they exchanged words with the group in an effort to stop the harassment. A few moments later near the intersection of Salina and Fayette streets, the group came back as the two were walking. Filming them, Grosvent confronted them, which escalated into the group exiting the vehicle and attacking the pair, all while filming the incident.
The pair returned home bloody and bruised. Not thinking any of their injuries were major, they went to sleep and the following day sought medical attention. Although looking the worse, Grosvent’s injuries were less urgent, as McElyea’s became critical. Rushed by ambulance to Upstate Medical Center, he was immediately brought into surgery to remove a blood clot and reducing swelling that had begun. The surgery was successful, but he will have a long road to recovery.
Local officials have released the following footage of the group, and ask for assistance in identifying those in the photos.
Police are currently looking to get video from surveillance from other cameras in the area. They are asking anyone with information on the incident to call the Syracuse Police Department at 315-442-5222.
A close knit family, Grosvent released the following statement on his Facebook page thanking all the support they have received since Christmas.
“The outreach and support during this senseless, difficult time has been overwhelming. The Syracuse community has shown they can and will rally around what’s right to keep this city safe.
Unfortunately, James is far from being out of the woods and still needs our help. He will be away from work, his wife and four beautiful children for weeks to come. Insurance does not look to cover all the costs of this attack. ANYTHING you can donate is requested by me. His family is a strong, prideful family that take care of their own, but this is turning out to be too much.
With all my love, I thank EVERY person that has called, texted, messaged and shared our story. Any questions or information in the case can be sent to me and I will forward to the authorities. Please respect James, his amazing wife Trista and their families privacy during this difficult time. Thank you.”
In an interview, Grosvent explains the incident, taking responsibility for his part and expressing his love of his city and willingness to help those in need to keep it safe.
Unsure how long McElyea will be out of work, Grosvent started a GoFundMe page to help the family pay their bills.