May 1, 2014 1:04 PM by Matthew Schwartz
TUCSON - Adam Ostmeyer spent nine months in Afghanistan with the Arizona Army National Guard, searching for and detonating roadside bombs.
After serving his country, Adam returned home to Tucson in December, unharmed. Then, one night downtown, Adam got knocked-out, with one punch.
"I didn't know if I got hit by a fist, or if it was a bottle, or if he had like brass knuckles on," Ostmeyer told the News 4 Tucson Investigators. "The pain was horrible, it was the worst pain I've ever felt. I'd never wish that on anybody."
Adam's orbital socket was broken. He underwent two hours of surgery. Three metal plates are in his face, two are under his left eye and another is above his lip.
Adam said he had never seen the guy who punched him before. Now, Tucson Police need your help finding Adam's attacker.
It was April 19th, 1:45 a.m. The 26-year-old Ostmeyer, his girlfriend and two other couples had attended an art show, then went to dinner and two bars.
Adam admits he was drunk, but he wasn't driving. He was looking for a taxi, standing outside The Junxion Bar, at the northwest corner of Congress and Scott, waiting for the light to change. He was with a friend, talking to two guys nearby.
Adam and his friend say the two other guys overheard them talking about Adam being in the National Guard, and that the four men briefly discussed the military before the sudden punch. Adam does not remember any harsh words being exchanged.
Adam's friend, who doesn't want to be identified, told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "We were just talking and all of a sudden, I looked south and then I hear a pop noise, and I look back and I see him finishing through the swing, and see my buddy got hit."
Adam lay bleeding on the sidewalk, slipping in and out of consciousness. His friend chased the attacker down Scott St., but lost him when he ran into an alley.
Tucson Police responded quickly, but couldn't find the guy. The police report calls it an assault. Adam and his friend describe the attacker as an Asian man, about 5'10" with a medium build. Adam and his friend say it was totally unprovoked.
Adam's friend told us, "Who knows, it could have been a bet, could have been just drunk and stupid. "
Adam and his friend think it could have been part of the so-called "knockout game" that's been going on in a few other cities. Innocent people, walking down the street, are suddenly punched by a stranger, usually a teenager. And the teenager's friends post the video online. It seems wrong to call it a "game," it's so sick, so brutal, and often deadly. At least seven victims nationwide have died from these attacks. (None of the victims seen in our report died.)
We wanted TPD'S take on the assault on Adam Ostmeyer, but police spokesmen declined our interview requests. One of them said they did not want to discuss whether this was another round in the knock-out game.
Unlike Adam's case, in most of the knock-outs nationwide, the attacker and victim didn't talk at all. The attacker ran up on the victim, punched him or her, and ran.
We asked Adam, "If you could talk to the guy who punched you, what would you say?"
Adam answered, "Why, why, why? Why'd you do it and why'd you run away?
Adam Ostmeyer, who survived nine months in Afghanistan, says he's done with downtown Tucson.
"I never want to go downtown again," he told us.
Ostmeyer wants to press charges against the guy who attacked him. Police want your help in finding him. Call TPD if you know or saw anything relating to the assault in the early morning of April 19.
If you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our tip line, (520) 955-4444.