‘Lucky to be alive’: 70-year-old beating victim continues to recover 2 years after attack

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Meredith Scruggs, a beloved former coach in Gaston County, was brutally beaten in 2020 in Belmont. His injuries landed him in the hospital for six months.

Scruggs said he has no memory of that night and doctors told him that it may be best that he can’t remember.

Scruggs spoke emotionally to Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon about the road to recovery.

Kyle Gray, a mixed-martial arts trainer attacked Scruggs in August 2020 on Elm Tree Lane in Belmont. The two men did not know each other.

“The last thing I remember is the bright light shining in my eyes and then after that, I can’t tell you anything until I woke up 40 days later,” Scruggs said.

The 70-year-old man had broken ribs, a punctured lung and a crack in his skull. Surgeons had to place screws and clamps in Scruggs’ face. He also had severe damage to some of his organs.

The medical report from Atrium Health Main is 6,000 pages and that is just one of the hospitals that treated him, Scruggs said.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” he said.

Scruggs spent 79 days in the hospital, much of it on a breathing tube.

“I had to learn to walk again,” Scruggs said.

Scruggs said he has gotten much support from loved ones and former students at East Gaston High School where he retired as a coach for mostly swimming and tennis. He also coached at Piedmont Charter where he most recently worked.

He said the training he got as a young athlete also helped enormously.

“It was tough, but I knew I could do it,” Scruggs said. “I pushed myself.”

Scruggs was in court last month when a judge ruled that Gray was mentally competent to stand trial.

Gray has said the beating was the result of a road rage incident when he was concerned for his own safety. However, Scruggs said he has no recollection of what led up to the attack.

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“He can’t do this to anybody else. I don’t want it to happen to no one else,” Scruggs said.

Gray was out on bond, at the time of the assault. He was charged with breaking into a man’s Charlotte home and assaulting him with a knife.

Gray is now facing attempted murder charges in this case along with a charge of threatening a Gaston County district court judge.

Scruggs can walk on his own now and promises to attend all of Gray’s hearings.

(Watch the video below: Son of former East Gaston HS coach brutally attacked wants suspect back behind bars)