PUYALLUP, Washington —
A 21-year-old Puyallup man is in a coma after prosecutors said he was punched twice for making a comment about the rims on another man’s car.
James Foster remains in Tacoma General Hospital on life support with severe head injuries.
Pierce County Prosecutors said Foster was punched by 25-year-old Daman Lehman outside a Puyallup bar Friday after he complimented the rims on a car Lehman was riding in.
“He loves cars, and he said, ‘Nice car. What kind of rims you got on there?’ and (Lehman) said, ‘That’s a stupid question,’ and he hit him,” James’ father, Darrell Foster said.
According to a probable cause document, Lehman suddenly hit Foster once in the face. Eyewitnesses said Foster stood motionless, then Lehman hit him again, this time much harder. Foster fell to the ground and struck his head on the pavement. Witnesses said they heard Lehman say, “I put people to sleep, that’s what I do,” as he left the scene.
Lehman was arrested after gave police the license plate number of the car he was riding in. Prosecutors said he confessed to attacking Foster during interviews with investigators.
He pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault in Pierce County Superior Court. He is free on $75,000 bail.
“That was hard because (James is) laying there, fighting for his life,” said Lisa Foster, James’ mother, after Lehman’s court hearing.
“If the glass (at the courtroom) wasn’t there, I think I would have gone through the glass,” Darrell Foster said. “You want to choke him, you know? You look at him and you think, ‘My son’s in a coma.’”
James Foster’s parents said doctors have given them little hope of his recovery.
“They have no idea, they have no idea,” Darrell Foster said. “They said he might never wake up, he might not talk.”