A Tennessee high schooler was severely injured after a peer paid someone $20 to punch him, as a group of other teenagers watched and filmed. Now the victim’s family is suing those involved for more than $6 million.
Kelsey Moore was an 18-year-old senior at Collinwood High School and a baseball pitcher with a promising future when he was attacked on April 17, 2022. Now his life will never be the same, Loren Klitsas, an attorney representing the Moore family, told Insider.
“It caused a lifetime of damage to this boy. And he’s lost all chance to play college baseball,” Klitsas said. “He has panic attacks when he sees cars or things that are strange to him, and he’s just not the same.”
After attending church on Easter Sunday in 2022, Moore met up with friends at a popular parking lot, where he was unexpectedly punched in the face, according to the lawsuit exclusively seen by Insider.
The suit claims that Brandison Dru Daniel, now 21, gave Cameron Luke Makara, now 18, $20 to punch Moore. Makara then put Moore on a truck bed to take photos, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit says the images were “widely shared” on social media, further humiliating Moore.
Daniel and Makara — both now a year older — are now facing felony aggravated assault charges, according to court records.
“They all went to school together, and they’ve all graduated now,” Klitsas told Insider. “So they’re out of high school, but everybody knows everybody.”
Moore suffered facial fractures, lost vision in one eye, lost hearing in one ear, and had a broken neck, Klitsas said.
According to the lawsuit, Moore spent several days in the hospital and then spent weeks at home recovering from an emergency surgery to place “four titanium plates in his head.”
“So he’s hurt very badly,” Klitsas told Insider, adding that Moore is a “very mild-mannered kid” who is “super sweet.”
Attorney Howard Kahn, another lawyer representing Moore’s case, said the assault on Moore was “hugely traumatic.”
“How much more do I need to say? His eye will never come back,” Kahn told Insider. “And this is a young man, 18-years old. It’s so horrific.”
Aside from Daniel and Makara, the suit names 16 other defendants who were present at the time, including one who filmed the incident. The defendants are accused of civil conspiracy, among other things, according to the lawsuit.
Moore’s parents are listed as plaintiffs seeking an excess of $1 million in damages for mental anguish, medical expenses, and lost wages. Kelsey Moore, meanwhile, is seeking damages exceeding $5 million.
Insider was unable to determine if the defendants involved had secured legal representation at the time of publication. Daniel did not respond to Insider’s request for comment, nor did a representative for Makara.