Adam Gooch. Source: White County Sheriff's Department
Nathan's injuries after being hit by Gooch.
WHITE CO, IL (WFIE) -
A professional wrestler is charged with aggravated assault and accused of punching a mentally challenged fan in the face.
Now, the community is rallying around the fan.
The family is such a big fan of wrestling, they say they don't want this incident to stop any shows, but they can't help but be angry over what happened last Wednesday.
"I got up in Goochs' face. He just froze," the victim's mom, Judy Clark said.
Judy Clark of Flat Rock, Illinois says her mother's instinct took over after her 24-year-old mentally handicapped son was assaulted by a professional wrestler during a show.
"I saw it, I got up, and I stopped the show and said, 'You just hit my son,'" Clark said.
Clark says her son, Nathan, has been to hundreds of shows and knew the storyline behind the wrestlers. During the "Strictly Nsane Pro Wresting Event", Gooch was supposed to antagonize his enemy, but police say when his stunt failed, the professional wrestler got angry and lost his cool.
"It appears he attempted to throw a chair into the ring, and it bounced back which may have caused him to become angry, but the fan, or the victim, were actually pointing and laughing at him. The video actually shows him getting into that person's face. In a progression of events, Gooch striking the individual, causing an injury," said Carmi Chief of Police, Randy Hamblin.
"The whole crowd was laughing and you know they were hollering things like, 'I think 'shut up and sit down' and things like that. He got over to my son and got in his face and Nathan put his hands up and went like this. He just took a fist," Clark said. "Not knowing he was on the floor, I thought he was still sitting in the chair, and when I looked, puddles of blood all over the floor."
Police say Gooch took off in a vehicle, but was later arrested and charged with battery.
Gooch was fired that day by the SNPW Organization saying they provide family friendly shows and will not tolerate that behavior.
The Clark family says they do not plan to take legal action.
"Money will not take this away from us. I want the nightmare to be over," Clark said.
The wrestling community is hosting a Night for Nathan Wednesday the 17th in Carmi at the VFW.
The Clark's say they have heard from several members of the wrestling community who are apologetic and furious.
Adam Gooch is being held at the White County Jail on a $3,000 cash bond.
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