Article by: Angela Bianchi
Toronto – THIS IS A MUST READ.
NICK AND HIS FAMILY ARE OUR FRIENDS.
“TRAGEDIES LIKE THIS ARE JUST ONE OF THE REASONS OUR FOUNDATION EXISTS.”
THE RED JACKET
NICHOLAS CHOW JOHNSON
Most of us will never experience a moment that will forever shatter our life’s direction, but for Nicholas Chow Johnson, that moment occurred shortly after 3:00 am on Saturday, October 20, 2001, when a voice in the dark yelled, “take off the red”!
It’s doubtful that Nick heard or understood the real meaning of those words. He had been drinking and was staggering down Lampson Street (Esquimalt, B.C.) when a group of young punks cornered him. He tried to get away, when a sixteen-year-old boy gave Nick a shove.
A punch provoked by a simple red jacket. It was the wrong colour in the wrong neighbourhood.
As Nick continued walking, Harry Hiscock (then 19) ran up behind him.
Harry’s fist was wrapped in a blue bandana, symbolic of the Crips gang.
He blindsided Nick with a vicious punch to the head. Nick dropped like a stone, slamming his head on the roadway.
A 16-year-old member of the gang then delivered at least one finishing kick to Nick’s head, as he lay unconscious on the road.
Realizing Nick was badly hurt, the teens quickly fled, but Esquimalt police soon caught up with the two minors and Harry.
Taken to a Victoria hospital, neurosurgeons soon concluded that Nick’s brain was severely injured – most likely from the initial punch delivered to the left side of his head – a punch provoked by a simple red jacket. It was the wrong colour in the wrong neighbourhood.
THE BRUTAL RESULTS
Today, six years later, Nick is blind in his right eye, can’t talk, and the right side of his body is paralyzed. He can’t care for himself and must rely on others to feed him, wash him, and move him. His mother, father and younger brother are his frequent visitors.
Harry is serving the remainder of his eight-year sentence at a medium security prison in B.C. In 2005, he was denied day parole but he can apply again in September 2007. If it’s denied, Harry will see freedom in 2010.
A DISTURBING HISTORY
That October wasn’t the first time Harry was in trouble with the law.
At age 13, Hiscock had long-standing problems with his attitude and behaviour at home, at school, and in the community. A 1995 psychiatric assessment described Harry as impulsive, angry, lacking responsibility and lacking empathy. It was predicted that if he did not receive anger management he would likely re-offend and pose a risk to seriously harm others.
As for the two minors, they were handed two-year sentences in 2002 and currently live in B.C.