‘He survived’: Texas community raises money for 6-year-old attacked with baseball bat in home invasion

‘He survived’: Texas community raises money for 6-year-old attacked with baseball bat in home invasion

Saleen Martin

A central Texas community is rallying around the family of a 6-year-old boy as he fights for his life weeks after a home invasion.

The boy, Jeremy Diaz, was attacked on Sept. 11 during a home invasion and opened his eyes on Thursday. He did it again Sunday night, his father, Arturo Diaz, told USA TODAY Monday evening.

“After the first week, they told us that Jeremy was going to pass,” his father shared. “But he survived that. He beat death. They said he wouldn’t have movement on one side … he is moving his limbs and a couple of days ago, he opened his eyes.”

When he opened his eyes, Diaz played Jeremy some of his favorite songs and then the boy went back to sleep.

Diaz previously posted a series of updates on his son’s health and on Friday, said the boy had to be reintubated. While his lungs were OK, swelling in his throat has prevented him from breathing on his own.

“Overall, from where we were, planning a funeral is now planning rehabilitation,” his father shared Monday.

An individual named Daniel Logan was arrested in connection to the case, according to Williamson County officials. He was charged with felony aggravated assault and intentionally causing serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment or injury to a child.

Logan’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Prior to the attack, the boy attended Team Rabadi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Muay Thai. The group hosted a BBQ chicken lunch to raise money for the boy Sunday.

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“He is making big strides in his recovery,” the group wrote online. “The road is long and sadly very expensive. Join us in helping keep the fight funded!”

Jeremy’s father said an intruder came into their home around 5:00 a.m. on Sept. 11. The man was carrying a baseball bat. The man used a bat to break his home’s back door, he said.

“It was actually one of our neighbors,” Diaz told USA TODAY Monday evening. “We’ve been living here since 2014 so we’ve seen folks come and go. One day, he just snapped … He came in and before I could disarm him, he had already hurt my son.”

Diaz wrote a heartfelt message on Facebook about his son. The family wants to make sure he gets the best care possible, so they’ve asked for help via GoFundMe, he shared. 

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6-year-old is kind and a giver, not a taker, family says

Before the attack, Jeremy had just received his grey belt in Jiu Jitsu, his father shared. He was proud of his accomplishment.

Since the incident, his family has heard more and more stories about how the 6-year-old makes those around him happy.

His teacher told him the boy got a new classmate recently who speaks mostly Russian. Jeremy, who is fluent in Chinese, was very patient with his classmate and guided him.

He even gave another child at the YMCA his toy when he asked for it once, his father said.

“He had told Jeremy that he wanted one of his Transformers,” Diaz said. “I came to pick up Jeremy … I lowered the window and he says ‘Papa, I don’t know if I can give the Transformer away.'”

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His father told him it was completely up to him. Give the toy away or keep it. Jeremy opened his bag, took the toy out and went to give it to the other little boy, his father said.

“Just tell your mom you found it,” he told the boy.

Jeremy is a giver and his 3-year-old brother looks up to him, following his every move, his father said.

“It’s interesting,” Diaz said. “Sometimes you go to work and you send them off to school … then the stories come back to you and then you realize how well-behaved they are. It’s kind of hard to believe it … those are the kinds of people that get hurt the most.”

Diaz recalled the last thing his son said to him the night before the home invasion. The 6-year-old walked up to his father’s desk and said he was ready to read and go to sleep. His father walked him to his bed and he read his dad a story.

“Papa,” he said to his father after giving him a hug and a kiss, “I love you.”

Jeremy is a great leader, according to those who know him from his jiu jitsu academy.

“Jeremy epitomizes the virtues a martial artist and a great leader should embody,” the academy wrote a few days after the attack, adding that he is quite skilled at tying his black belt knot and is always willing to teach those who need help.

“Jeremy exemplifies the very essence of our team. In light of this challenging period, we hope to provide a means through which you can extend your support.”

To help Jeremy and his family, visit www.tinyurl.com/JeremyDGFM.

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