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Beating cripples Hesperia family emotionally, financially

HESPERIA • A little over a year ago, Dominic Sherman Jr. was beaten in the head and face with a brick as he was walking home from a nearby grocery store on a cold February night.

Sherman, who is mentally handicap, managed to stumble home covered in blood and crying for his parents, who immediately called 911. An ambulance took the 32-year-old to Desert Valley Hospital, where he spent two days. Sherman’s mother, Rosalind Sherman, said that the beating almost killed her son, and he continues to suffer from nightmares and complications of a severely broken nose.

“We have to watch him like a little baby,” Rosalind said. “He used to be able to do a lot of things by himself and now we have to do everything for him.”

Rosalind Sherman said that she and her husband know the three men who they say beat their son, yet only Angel Manuel Navarro was convicted.

Court records show that although Navarro was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and false imprisonment, he entered into a plea deal and was only convicted for the false imprisonment charge. He was sentenced to 16 months in county jail, time he is still serving.

The district attorney assigned to the case, Cecilia Joo, did not respond to several attempts to reach her.

The Shermans say that their son, who was called racial slurs during the attack, was a victim of a violent hate crime that left them crippled with medical bills and no justice.

To further complicate matters, Dominic Sherman’s own personal public record is not clean. Rosalind Sherman said she believes that her son’s record may be why Navarro was only convicted of false imprisonment and none of the other charges were pursued.

Because Dominic Sherman’s injuries were so extensive, medical bills from his initial hospital visit totaled close to $21,000. Numerous CAT scans and doctor’s appointments tacked on another $66,000 dollars, resulting in $87,000 in bills that his family is unable to pay. In addition, Rosalind Sherman said that the cost to repair the damage to Dominic Sherman’s nose is $150,000.

Navarro was ordered by the court to pay $240 in restitution fees, which the Shermans have not collected.

The Shermans say that they do not expect money out of the deal, only fairness. They believe their son was targeted because he is both black and mentally handicapped. They have reached out to the FBI for assistance.

Because of special circumstances surrounding the cases they handle, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller could not confirm or deny that they are working on a case.

“I’d like to see these guys turn themselves in,” Rosalind Sherman said. “And please don’t jump anyone else.”

Lynnea Lombardo may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at LLombardo@VVDailyPress.com.

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