Reporting Andrea Menniti
STOCKTON (CBS13) – A gang rivalry could be the motivation behind the beating of a disabled Stockton man who was jumped and had his prosthetic leg stolen Thursday morning.
Jacky Copeland, 49, claims to be a lifetime Norteno gang member, and says members of a rival gang were behind the attack that happened at around 10 a.m. near North Madison and West Park Streets as he was headed to a nearby Walgreens.
He now has a temporary replacement prosthetic leg where his customized one used to sit, which will cost thousands to replace.
“They thought it was funny, you know what I’m saying — a handicap with no leg,” Copeland said.
The pair of robbers demanded money from Copeland. When he claimed to have none, the suspects threw him to the ground, then punched and kicked him.
“One grabbed me from behind, bear hugged me,” Copeland said.
He says the suspects took his cell phone and prosthetic leg before taking off laughing.
“They took my leg, took off running, and looked back and started smiling and stuff,” Copeland said.
As he was crawling and calling for help, a nearby resident spotted Copeland stranded on the sidewalk.
“It made me angry, helpless, you know what I’m saying?” he said.
The grandfather says he lost his leg after getting shot during a gang shooting in Stockton five years ago.
“One of them shot me in the leg,” he said. “They amputated it, caught gangrene.”
Copeland believes the thieves will use his leg as a trophy.
“They probably will put it up on display and stuff, brag about it and tell their friend what they did, which is stupid,” he said. “How can you take this crippled man and do something like that?”
The suspects are described as two Latino men. One has a shaved head and goatee, standing between 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall. The second suspect is described as having a thin build, standing between 5 feet 2 to 5 feet 5 inches tall.