PHOENIX — Allan Near’s life was forever changed on Saturday, June 1, 1996.
That night, he and his niece met some friends at Graham’s Central Station near 35th Avenue and Indian School Road.
“I had to go to work early the next morning so I left early and she stayed behind,” said Near. “That’s my last memory of the night. My next memory is waking up in the hospital.”
That was 13 days later.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch said a few hours after Near left Graham’s, patrol officers found him laying on the side of the road near 3rd Street and Mineral at South Mountain.
“He was unconscious and had been badly beaten. It was also clear he’d been robbed,” said Burch. “His car, a 1985 Ford Bronco, was found burning in an alley near 71st Avenue and Indian School.”
Near had a severe head injury.
“They had homicide detectives on my case because doctors told them I wouldn’t survive,” Near said.
Near thinks he was carjacked but has absolutely no memory of the crime. It’s had a tremendous long-term affect on his life. He’s moved far away from Phoenix and spends most of his time home alone because he finds it hard to trust anyone.
Because his short-term memory is so badly affected, his career as an electronics technician is over. He’s been trying to attend classes but is struggling to remember what he learns each day. He lives on disability now.
“I would very much like whoever did this to me face justice,” said Near.
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