George Washington Graduate Student Patrick Casey Dies After Assault

6:49 PM, Sep 29, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- A George Washington University graduate student has died days after an assault at a McDonald's in D.C.  

Patrick Casey, 33, survived a year in Afghanistan on a Stryker team only to be killed after a fight at a McDonald's in D.C.  A New York State native, he was the oldest child and a beloved brother of two younger siblings -  Kevin and Erin Casey.

Both of Casey's parents, Gail and Paul Casey, are terrified that the suspects connected to his death will not be caught. They sat down to talk to 9NEWS NOW'S Brittany Morehouse Wednesday night, just one day after he passed. 

According to his parents, Casey and two friends met up at the McDonald's on 1916 M St. NW. on Thursday after going out.  Three people were harrassing another group of customers inside the restaurant. Then, the three people started taunting Casey and his friends when they arrived. Later, when Casey and his friends left the establishment, the three young men followed them outside.  

A police report from the incident describes how four witnesses watched the three suspects punched Casey in front of  McDonald's.   One of the three suspects punched Casey and he fell to the cement.  He was knocked unconscious, suffering a laceration to the nose and the back of the head. 

All three suspects fled the scene. They are described as young men around the age of 24, each 6 feet tall and weighing around 180 pounds.  The suspects may be caught on surveillance video, a McDonald's manager told  9NEWS' Brittany Morehouse police were able to obtain surveillance video from that night, where the three suspects can be seen.  So far, no arrests have been made.  

Now Casey's Facebook page is filling up by the second with messages from scores of people across the globe.  Friends are posting salutes to an Army Sergeant who was able to learn Arabic and another Middle Eastern language in just a couple of years while serving.  Former classmates are paying tribute to the former standout football player who was well known for his talent playing on his high school team in Clifton Park, NY.  And new friends who were just getting to know the graduate student after only a few weeks attending classes in the Elliott School of International Affairs are mourning the lost potential of someone who undoubtedly would have made a difference working on Middle East affairs. 

His parents say they don't want any other parents to suffer like them and they believe this is not the first time the three suspects acted in that way.  They want the three men caught. 

"We spent all day yesterday at the hospital, most of it in the ICU and then we met with campus security people to talk about security improvements that need to be tackled after his death," said Paul Casey.  "We then met with the doctors to talk about Matt's condition.  After that we met with the homicide detectives who had been assigned to the case and then we met that day with the organ donation doctors. No parent should have to spend a day like that."

Most of Casey's organs were donated and his parents say it is likely he helped dozens of patients with matches.  

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