SEABROOK – Stitches surrounded Elliott Reed’s bloodshot left eye as he detailed his injuries from the morning he thought he would never be able to see again.
“It’s a stitch here, stitch here,” Reed said while pointing throughout his face and recounted the moments leading up to when he said a neighbor assaulted him.
Collin Fries, 25, has been charged with misdemeanor assault. He is accused of beating Reed on Friday, Oct. 29 while at the intersection of Lakeside Drive and Hampton Strings Drive in Seabrook.
Although Reed’s injuries serve as evidence of what happened, they don’t confirm why the attack occurred.
Reed said he was riding his bike, something he does daily to control his diabetes, when he stopped for a break at a street corner a few blocks from his home of three years.
Reed said Fries approached the stop sign at the intersection before confronting him from his car.
“He said, ‘You need to get off of this corner because you’re making everybody nervous,’” Reed said.
Reed said he started recording on his phone and after that, Fries exited his vehicle and started walking towards him.
“I asked him, ‘Are you the law, sir? What’s going on?’ He said, ‘You’re just making people nervous,’” Reed said.
Reed said Fries then called him the n-word before telling him he needed to get away from the neighborhood.
Reed’s cell phone video shows part of the confrontation leading up to the attack. In the video, you can hear Reed asking the man in the video why he was approaching him. The video ends when Reed said he fell over his bicycle after Fries rushed him.
“The last thing I remember is hitting my head and I went out,” Reed said.
Neighbors who witnessed the attack called Seabrook police.
Reed said first responders rushed him to UTMB Health - Clear Lake Campus before transferring him to the hospital’s main location in Galveston due to his eye injury.
Reed’s wife, Angie, said police arrived at her door with her husband’s bicycle following the attack.
“When I walked in the hospital and seen him, I started crying and the nurses started crying,” Angie Reed said, adding her husband likely will need surgery to repair damage to his left eye – an attack she said could have claimed her husband’s life.
“It was the witnesses who told the police that he was hit about 12 times after he was already unconscious,” she said.
While Fries has been charged with misdemeanor assault, the Reed’s would like for charges to be upgraded to a felony, at least.
The family said they did not know Fries before the attack, and believe there’s only one reason why he attacked Reed and that’s because he’s Black.
“I don’t feel safe in my own neighborhood where I pay taxes and am a law-abiding citizen of Seabrook,” Elliott said.
Seabrook police chief Sean Wright told KPRC2 the incident didn’t appear to be a hate crime, citing previous “conflict” between neighbors, despite the Reed’s claim that they had not met Fries.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office continues to investigate the case.