The man who died after prosecutors say two teenage brothers attacked him at a county fair last week in Maryland was a devoted uncle, his sister said Wednesday in a heart-wrenching statement.
John Weed, of Mount Airy, was at the Great Frederick Fair with his family on Friday when officials say a 15-year-old boy sucker punched him, without provocation. The teen and his 16-year-old brother had asked Weed for a dollar and he refused, according to prosecutors. Weed died the next day at age 59.
"He was my rock," Weed's heartbroken sister, Lori Hawkins, said.
"He gave so much love to his young niece and nephew," she said, describing all-terrain vehicles rides, playing in the pool and reading bedtime stories together.
His family shared two family photos. In one, he stands near a Christmas tree with a loved one's hand on his shoulder.
Every day after school, his 5-year-old nephew asked where his "Uncle Jay" was. Weed "would always have a project" for his "little helper," Hawkins said.
Weed and his sister had recently moved their parents and other family members to Frederick County, with the dream of living all together, she said. He handled "all the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for us."
Before the attack, Weed was "the happiest I've ever seen him," his sister said.
She called for the teens to be punished.
"We just wanted to spend time together as a family at the fair, but due to this horrible act of unprovoked violence my brother is now dead. There is no excuse for what these individuals have done," Hawkins said.
Both teens charged in the attack were charged as juveniles. The 15-year-old boy was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, the sheriff's office said. His 16-year-old brother was charged with second-degree assault. The prosecutor may ask that they be tried as adults.
Weed's family had raised more than $13,000 toward a $20,000 goal as of Wednesday afternoon.
They asked for any witnesses to the attack to contact the sheriff's office.