News of a local teen accused of attacking his girlfriend with a baseball bat has gone viral on Facebook after the alleged victim posted a photo of herself in the hospital.
Wednesday night, a showing of support for her came to a local hair salon.
The charges accuse the teen of hitting his girlfriend in the head with a baseball bat and leaving her unconscious for more than an hour, before his friends finally called police to intervene.
"He's strong enough that he could hurt me with his hands, and he had to hit me in the head with a bat. I don't understand. I keep asking myself what did I do so wrong," assault victim Amber Taylor said.
Many of the people who gathered with Taylor at the Marciano Salon on Water Street in Liberty, MO, were friends with her boyfriend before they became friends with her. Now, they have renounced him and come to her side.
Austin McCauley, 19, who calls himself "WildBoi" on Facebook, has been charged with the felony of second-degree domestic assault.
Taylor posted a photo of herself while at Liberty Hospital Tuesday to McCauley's Facebook account.
"I just wanted the people he was fake around... I just wanted his friends to actually see the true him so I'm not the bad person anymore," she said.
A day and a half after posting the picture, 6,000 people "liked" the status update, showing their support for her courage in coming forward and vowing not to put up with it. Many people commenting were women who knew neither the suspect nor victim but had experiences of their own with domestic violence.
Taylor got out of the hospital early Wednesday evening and returned to a motel where the alleged attack happened just before midnight two nights ago.
The pair had been living at the motel for the past week and a half, she said, with her young son.
Police said the child was in the room when they arrived Monday night to find Taylor sitting on the tub with bloody water inside and a gash on her head.
Court documents cite two of McCauley's friends saying she was "unconscious for about one hour to one and a half hours" after McCauley "hit [her] in the head with the handle end of a baseball bat."
The court documents went on to say that McCauley "thought [she] was dead" and that they took Taylor "to the bathtub to clean her up," then the friends eventually "decided this was crazy and needed to call for help."
According to the police account, McCauley told them she was shaking the bat at him and, when he grabbed it, she tensed up and let go and it hit her in the face. He also told police she never lost consciousness.
"I'm not going back. I can't go back. I have to be strong for myself and my son," Taylor said.
A search of court records show a protection order against McCauley in 2010 that the victim terminated a month later. Documents don't name the victim, but Taylor said it was McCauley's mom.
"He hurt me more and it kind of made me realize what I was doing to myself. And I mean I have a 4-year-old son, and he could have hit me harder. He could've killed me, and he's not worth me dying and my son not having a mom," she said.
A much older set of court records indicate McCauley's parents abandoned him when he was two, and his appointed guardian later resigned when he was 14.
Marciano's Lounge at 1 East Kansas St. in Liberty, MO, will be selling T-shirts at an event that starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Money raised will benefit Taylor and her son.
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