When 23-year-old Amber Taylor posted a picture of herself in a neck brace, recuperating from a baseball bat attack, to her boyfriend’s Facebook page, her intent was not to get the attention of the whole country.
“I just wanted his friends to know what kind of a guy he is,” Taylor said. “I didn’t know it was going to get this much attention.”
The posting went viral and has received thousands of hits, most praising Taylor for her courage in going public. Taylor said she remained in the hospital for two days with a concussion and inflammation of the brain. She said she was still in pain.
Her 19-year-old boyfriend, Austin R. McCauley, has been charged by the Clay County prosecutor’s office with second-degree felony assault. He remains in the Clay County jail on a $50,000 bond.
According to court documents, McCauley allegedly hit Taylor with the baseball bat on the head after the two got into an argument over a text message she got from a male friend. The couple, along with Taylor’s 4-year-old son, had been staying at the Value Place Motel in Liberty.
Taylor said she had received the text message, “good morning,” about 10 a.m. on Dec. 10, but McCauley did not become violent until 12 hours later. She said he had been drinking. She described McCauley as “manipulative” with the ability to convince people of whatever he wanted them to believe.
“When he talks, he’s very believable,” she said. “He promised me he would change.”
Taylor said she met McCauley about nine months ago and moved to the Northland to be with him. McCauley’s aunt had paid for a month’s rent at the motel while they saved money to rent an apartment, she said.
Taylor said about two weeks ago McCauley punched her on the forehead, and she got a restraining order against him. Ironically, she said a friend gave her the bat and a metal pole to protect herself.
“And he used the bat against me,” she said. “I’m lucky he didn’t use the metal pole, or he might have killed me, and my son wouldn’t have a mom.”
Taylor said two of McCauley’s friends were at the motel with them and witnessed the attack. She said her son was asleep at the time.
According to the police report, a witness said after the assault, McCauley “freaked out,” thinking Taylor was dead. The witness called police, who found Taylor on the bathroom floor with wet hair and a towel wrapped around her. The officer said he observed blood on the tub, toilet and trash can, and bloody water in the tub, and the woman appeared dazed and disoriented, according to the report.
Taylor said McCauley took her clothes off and put her in the bathtub to try to wash the blood off of her. According to the police report, witnesses said McCauley held a knife to his throat, threatening to kill himself, and that McCauley also threatened them if they called police.
Taylor was taken to Liberty Hospital for treatment, and McCauley was arrested. One of the witnesses took the child. Taylor said the attack was a wake-up call.
“I just want for me and my son to have a normal life,” Taylor said. “I’d like to go to school to be an (obstetrics) technician.”
A fundraiser for Taylor was held Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Marciano’s Salon in Liberty. Another fundraiser was held Saturday, Dec. 15, at Marciano’s Lounge on the Liberty Square. T-shirts are being sold for $25 with the proceeds going to help Taylor and her son.
Liberty Editor Angie Anaya Borgedalen can be reached at 389-6636 or email@example.com