The mother of Romeo Williams, the 18-year-old who is accused of savagely attacking 70-year-old James Gifford, is offering her apologies and prayers for the victim.
Josette Williams, Romeo Williamsâ?? mother, tells CNY Central that she is thoroughly disgusted and "very angry with Romeo." Williams says her son had a number of psychological and behavior problems growing up. At the age of 13, Josette Williams says she turned Romeo over to the state where he went into several programs for troubled youth. "When they handed him back to me, he was the same way as when he went in," she said. Williams says says her son has been on various medications for years, but also used illegal drugs when he entered a life on the streets of Syracuse.
She says she can not understand why Romeo would have attacked an elderly man. "He's always had compassion for the elderly," she said.
Romeo Williams, who has an extensive criminal record, is charged with second degree assault. Heâ??s accused of hitting Gifford so hard that he fell unconscious to the pavement of the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store on Valley Drive in Syracuse on Saturday morning.
Police Chief Frank Fowler says that after the attack, Romeo Williams went inside the store and was â??celebratingâ?? what he had just done. Fowler says Romeo Williams then went back outside and resumed the savage attack on Gifford until his four acquaintances pulled him away and fled. Josette Williams says she feels "very sorry for Mr. Gifford" and offers her "deepest apologies and prayers for him."
She says she supports the idea that her son would be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," but also hopes he receives psychological help while in prison. "I hope the Lord will walk him through the path he's about to take," she said.
On Tuesday morning, the judge postponed Romeo Williams' bail review after being informed that his attorney decided not to represent him. The case will now go before a Grand Jury and additional charges against Williams may be pending.