PHILADELPHIA — A New Jersey Army private native stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia was attacked by 12 men after the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia on New Years Day, authorities say.

Accord to the Philadelphia Police Department, 19-year-old Austin Freni was walking with two other people on Oregon Avenue in Philadelphia and was on his cell phone before the attack occurred. Freni told New Jersey 101.5 the two other people were his mother and fiancee.

While he was attempting to make a hotel reservation for his mom, Freni said, a group of men made a derogatory comment about the Army — noting his clothing. A verbal confrontation eventually turning physical, he said.

"Next thing I know I'm on the ground with about five dudes on me," he said. "I woke up every so often but for the most part I was knocked out, then when I woke up again I was into the back of the ambulance swinging around."

Police said Freni suffered a broken jaw as a result of the altercation.

Freni told police the assailants, a group of close to 12 men, left the scene before law enforcement could respond, and none of the people he was with required medical attention at that time. Freni also suffered a concussion during the fight, which he said makes it hard to remember some details from the encounter.

One of the attackers is described as a white male between the ages of 18 and 20 years old. The Philadelphia Police said the other members of the group involved included 10 white males and one black male, also between the ages of 18 and 20. The Philadelphia Police Department is investigating the incident and looking for any additional information at this time.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family with various costs and has raised more than $11,000 in three days. Freni said that while his medical coverage is paid for through the military's Tricare insurance, the family does have other expenses that need to be addressed.

Another GoFundMe page had purported to help Freni and his family as well, but Freni said that while he was contacted by the administrator of the page, she told him she would not be able to get the money she raised to his family.

Since the attac,  Freni has been discharged from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and is recovering with his family in Atco, New Jersey. He said he is due to his airborne infantry unit, where he holds the rank of E-2, a level of private, by Monday, where the remainder of his injury care will be handled by military doctors.

More from New Jersey 101.5:



More From New Jersey 101.5 FM