Parents plea for help in finding man who sucker-punched son

Parents plea for help in finding man who sucker-punched son

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A 30-year-old man who was just out for a night of fun in downtown Orlando with co-workers last month never made it home.

Five weeks later, Jeffery Metz is sitting in a hospital bed after police say he was sucker punched. 

"He never defended himself at any point, no defensive wounds.  One way one shot and evidently he just hit wrong and it was over," said his father Bill Metz.

Metz said he received a call about his son at 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning, the kind of call that's any parent's worst nightmare. 

"He was found unconscious on Orange [Avenue].  He was taken to the hospital.  He had a bleeding in the back of his brain.  On the second day, they discovered he had a bleed to the front," he said.  "On the fifth day, his brain swelled and required surgery.  Now, it's day by day. It's been really tough.  We'll have a good day and then a bad day.  He was totally sedated for 3 weeks.  He was totally unconscious."

Today Jeffery is still in intensive care at Orlando Regional Medical Center. 

"He's still in critical.  Pneumonia is an issue right now.  A couple of infection issues.  He's still on a ventilator so he communicates by shaking his head yes or no," said Bill Metz. 

Jeffery's parents, who flew in from Indiana to be at his bedside, don't understand how this happened. 

"He's got a very good job, very active. He formally was an athlete, played college soccer and its kind of hard to see him there totally immobile at this point."

The life changing punch happened on Orange Avenue in the heart of downtown in front of Gitto's pizza.  Jeffery's dad is putting out a plea to anyone who knows a guy in a plaid shirt captured in surveillance video, or two men police believe were out with the guy who threw that life-changing punch.  The incident happened around 2 a.m. on July 10.

"I wish they would step forward and man up.  But I understand issues when people are out at night. Things happen, this is a life changing even for my son and my family.  I hope someone out there will step forward, if not the attacker it's somebody who saw this," said Metz.  

Metz and his wife met with their son's doctors this morning. Since he suffered from a brain injury, doctors are unable to determine Jeffery's long term prognosis.  

If you have any information in this case you're asked to call the Orlando Police Department or Crimeline 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

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