MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A teenage restaurant host in Cordova was beaten by angry customers who had to wait for a table. Now, he’s struggling to earn money, but he’s getting help.
A picture of Omarion Ford, 17, was seen by many on social media and the news. He lay on a cold restaurant floor, bloodied and bruised, after being attacked by four adults.
Keith Leachman’s barber was at Cheddars that day. “I was hanging out with my barber Jenny Macon. He was like, ‘Man, I was there. I [saw] it. He was kind, polite.’”
Leachman knew he had to help. “We’ve got to sow a seed to this young king. We’ve got to go give him some hope,” he said. “We’ve got to let him know all is well,” said Leachman.
So, WREG’s Stephanie Scurlock handed Leachman $1,000, and they headed over to Omarion’s house to pay him a visit.
Omarion’s mother called him to the door, and Keith took it from there.“I [saw] what happened to you, and I just want you to know all is well and God got you.”
Leachman handed Omarion $1,000 to help him pay for things he needs for school and for his senior class fees and expenses.
“This really means the world to me, like, honestly. I’m trying not to cry. It means the world to me,” said Omarion.
Passing it on to Omarion helps his mom, Latisha Ford, too. She’s off work on maternity leave with a new baby.
“I teach my children how to be respectful. How to be there for people. How to be there for themselves,” said Ford. And I’m teaching them how to be men, and for that to happen to them, that was heartbreaking to me.
Leachman runs an organization called “Stop the Killing, Cut the Beef.” He hopes he’s helped ease that heartbreak. “You keep that same energy, that same spirit, and life is going to carry you through.”
Omarion still has headaches from the concussion he suffered during the attack, and emotionally, his mother says he still needs support. This gesture from a stranger lets her know they’re not alone.
“Thank you so much. I really appreciate it, I really do because it’s been hard trying to keep him encouraged through everything,” said Ford.
Police arrested four family members and charged them with attacking Omarion. They say the man punched Omarion first, and one of the women joined in, hitting him until he fell, knocking his head against a brick wall.