Man dies weeks after attack
By James Peacemaker, Jr., Managing Editor
Mar 1, 2013, 13:40
COLONIAL HEIGHTS — A young man died Thursday after being hospitalized for more than two weeks following a beating outside of his apartment building.
Three people, who were charged in the attack on Rusty Mack, 22, will now face murder charges, according to Colonial Heights Commonwealth’s Attorney William Bray.
Mack’s estranged wife, Ashley Kate Mack, 19, Jonathan Brice Guy, 20, and an unnamed 17-year-old girl originally faced charges of aggravated assault by mob. Neighbors said a fourth person drove a car leading up to the fight and authorities are still investigating to see if charges will be filed against that person. Guy also faces misdemeanor charges of being drunk in public and assault and battery.
Bray said the 17-year-old was originally released to home confinement but that his office appealed and the judge ordered her held in a juvenile detention center. Bray said he aims to have her tried as an adult.
The fight happened around 10 p.m. on Feb. 11 outside a group of apartments on the 1100 block of Shuford Avenue next to the post office. A sign from management was still hanging on the doors of several apartments Thursday saying “Ashley Mack you are banned from this property.”
Bray said Rusty Mack was kicked in the head during the fight, but he was still waiting on the medical examiner’s report for the cause of death.
A motive is unclear, but neighbors and authorities said a phone call preceded the attack.
Those who knew Rusty Mack remembered him as polite, hardworking and always willing to help others.
Tommy Coon, a family friend and his longtime wrestling coach, remembered Mack as an average wrestler at Colonial Heights High School, but one of the most memorable.
He said it isn’t the star athletes you remember the most as a coach, it is “the Rustys.”
He said Mack, who was only 105 pounds his senior year, was always the first one to practice and he would do anything the coaches asked him.
“When he lost a match, he would be apologizing to me. He was more concerned with upsetting me than he was about losing,” he said.
“Everyone would be proud to be around him,” Coon said.
Coon recalled a time at a summer camp while Mack was in middle school.
The young wrestlers were afraid to mingle with girls from a nearby field hockey camp. The boys got Mack to help break the ice by delivering words between the two groups.
“He was not afraid of anything,” Coon said.
Coon said he is close to Mack’s parents and that Mack was an only child and attended Richard Bland College. He said Mack would still come by his house to talk and that the news of his death was “wrenching.”
Kelly Doane, a neighbor and friend, recalled Mack as a little shy but always had a big smile.
“He was always willing to help people, always help me,” he said.
Doane, a standup comic, said he arrived at home minutes after the incident and was shocked by what happened.
He is now trying to raise money for the family to help cover funeral costs. He said he has already raised $2,000 online and is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday.
“We just want to take everyone’s mind off of it for a few hours,” he said.
The event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Quality Inn on Old Stage Road in Chester.