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Amputee thanks God for survival Details fuzzy on attack with own artificial leg

Richard Kelly said that it is by divine intervention that he is still alive after being attacked, then beaten with his own prosthetic leg.

"Through the grace of God, I'm doing OK," Kelly said Saturday night when he was contacted in Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition.

Kelly, 43, declined to discuss details of the case with the media and police investigators.

He suffered broken ribs, skin abrasions and a punctured lung when four young men attacked him at 2 a.m. Saturday on the 1200 block of East Delavan Avenue, police said.

Initially police also said Kelly was run over by a car but later said they aren't sure if that report was true.

"I'm hurting," he said of the injuries. "I don't know how long it will take to recover."

Other than that, the only thing Kelly would say is, "Have a nice day."

A family member said he thinks his brother is in a lot of pain right now and frightened, and that is why he is unwilling to talk more about the attack at this time.

"It's a sad thing for people to beat a man like that, with one leg," said Darryl Kelly, the victim's younger brother. "They tried to kill him, and I hope there's an arrest."

Like his older brother, Darryl Kelly says the only reason his brother is alive is because of divine assistance.

"God was with him. A beating like that, he should not have made it," he said.

Richard Kelly lost his right leg from the knee down in a serious automobile accident about eight years ago on the West Side.

And though he did not want to discuss possible motives for the attack Saturday, his brother thinks it may have something to do with a fight at Richard Kelly's girlfriend's family picnic in the East Delavan-Suffolk area.

"I don't know what the situation was, but I heard he was at the picnic and there was a fight between him and his girlfriend, and the family took it upon themselves to jump on him and fight him," Darryl Kelly said, adding he is not sure of all the details. He again stressed, though, he hopes that police make an arrest in the heinous crime.

When police interviewed Richard Kelly on Saturday evening, he said he did not recollect the incident, according to authorities in the Northeast District. Kelly offered no possible motive to the police, who said they are checking out his story about the car running him over.

Detective Chris Dates filed the initial report in the investigation, with Police Officer Chaunce White and Lt. Kenneth Szyszkowski, who were among the first to respond.

Police have filed no charges. Late Saturday evening, Detective Sgt. Billy Crawford and Detective Laura Pittorf were continuing the investigation, despite Kelly's lack of cooperation.

e-mail: lmichel@buffnews.com and cthompson@buffnews.com

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