Candlelight vigil for man beaten with a rock - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Candlelight vigil for man beaten with a rock

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Dozens of friends and acquaintances of 31-year-old Jason Huggins, who was allegedly bashed in the head with a rock last Wednesday in Hillcrest and remains in critical condition in a coma, came together Tuesday evening for a candlelight vigil.

They gathered outside Scripps Mercy Hospital, where Huggins remains inside in a hospital bed, clinging to life.

"Jason was the most loving and caring person," said his best friend, Justin Newman, who organized the vigil. "He would give you the shirt off his back."

According to authorities, Huggins was assaulted with a rock in a homeless encampment in a canyon along Washington Street on June 22. Last Friday, 37-year-old Joshua Larson was arrested for the attack, charged with assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.

Police have not revealed a motive for the attack.

"I was shocked," said Nykole DelRosario, a friend of Huggins' who attended Tuesday evening's vigil. "I really was. It was very traumatic to hear."

The 31-year-old victim walked out of the canyon, where he had been living in a tent, in the 1300 block of Washington Street and flagged down a passing driver about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to San Diego police.

"The man was only able to tell the motorist he had been hit in the head with a rock," Lt. Ernie Herbert said.

Medics took the victim, whose name has been withheld pending family notification, to Scripps Mercy's trauma center, where his condition deteriorated. His injuries are considered life-threatening.

"The victim had been assaulted with a rock," Lt. Dan Christman said. "He was transported to a local trauma center, and his injuries became more severe and he is not expected to live."

Loved ones of Huggins, who is nicknamed "Cowboy," said while they want justice to be served, they are focused on praying for Huggins' recovery.

"Nobody deserves what has happened to Jason," Newman added.

In the meantime, Joshua Larson is scheduled to be arraigned in San Diego Superior Court on Wednesday.

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