Smith: Not only sore, Ken feels bad

Ken McCrae remains trim and buffed many years after he wrestled and then coached at Piner High. I do believe he’s grateful he was beaten and stomped at Santa Rosa’s transit mall, rather than you or me.

“It could have been anybody,” he said.

Now 46 and an employee of Ghilotti Construction, he has returned to work after healing from the injuries suffered when a group of about 12 teens attacked him outside the Roxy Theater on the night of June 28.

He was inside the moviehouse with his girlfriend when he saw outside that some teens were chasing and harassing a boy and yanking away his backpack. McCrae hurried out, caught up and called them off.

McCrae isn’t big but he’s athletic, a long-distance runner. He said one guy strode up and punched him, so hard that McCrae suspects that he’s spent time in a boxing ring.

“He had no fear in his eyes, none whatsoever,” McCrae said. As they fought, the others mobbed him.

Here was a Santa Rosa native, almost 50 years old, being kicked viciously. Police arrived and, fortunately for McCrae, the kid he’d rescued was still there to tell officers that he was not the aggressor.

McCrae’s disappointment to have been stomped by teens in his hometown is as deep as his bruising. “My concern was how animalistic they were,” he said.

The ex-wrestling coach wishes he could meet those teens again for a talk about conduct.

Presumably, somebody knows the steely guy who lead the attack and knows that he needs, at the least, a talking to.

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