NEWS

Topsail soccer stabbing victim now conscious, talking

10/01/2014 07:59 EDT | Updated 12/01/2014 05:59 EST
The 11-year-old boy who was stabbed in the neck during an apparently random attack at a Newfoundland soccer pitch last week is making a good recovery, his soccer organization says. 

Calvin Randell of the Conception Bay South Soccer Association says he has been told that the boy, who sustained severe wounds to his neck during a routine drill session last Thursday evening, is now conscious. 

It is believed the boy was in a medically induced coma after he was rushed to hospital. He had lost a great deal of blood. 

But he's now able to talk again. 

Nicholas Layman, 19, was charged with attempted murder on Friday, and is undergoing a week-long psychiatric evaluation. 

Sources familiar with the police investigation have told CBC News that Layman has mental-health issues, and that the attack on the boy appears to be random. 

Easing back into soccer

On Tuesday evening, children returned for the first time to the pitch in the Topsail area of Conception Bay South, just west of St. John's. Parents were invited to join their children on the field, with organizers hoping to bring the fall session back to normal. 

"Some of the parents have been telling me their children have been reluctant to come out, especially the ones who may have witnessed something, and we're telling the parents, look, encourage them to keep coming back — that's what professionals tell us — and just let them do it on their own time," Randell said. 

"Keep encouraging them, don't force them or push them, and we think once they get back here, they'll be OK." 

Randell said he spoke with some of the coaches, who returned to the field on the weekend to prepare for the coming week, and to welcome children back this week. 
 
"It was a little strange coming out at first, but once they get out and are doing what they love, they kind of forget about the bad memories and start having fun again."

Many of the children at the Topsail pitch wore green on Tuesday evening, in a show of support for the boy, as it is his favourite colour. 

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