Victim’s family by his side in Akron

Doug Gulasy

Kernich was in critical condition yesterday after sustaining head injuries

Barker

Credit: DKS Editors

Kelly

Credit: DKS Editors

Kernich

Credit: DKS Editors

Supporters painted the rock on front campus for business student Christopher Kernich, who remains in critical condition at Akron City Hospital. Kernich was involved in assault off campus early Sunday morning. Glennis Siegfried | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

A Kent State business student was in critical condition yesterday at Akron City Hospital’s intensive care unit after being assaulted early Sunday morning.

The hospital would not confirm Christopher Kernich’s condition last night.

Christopher Kernich, 23, suffered severe head injuries in the assault and is still unresponsive, his mother, Sherry Kernich, said. The family is expecting test results back sometime today.

“He’s unresponsive, but he’s still alive,” Sherry Kernich said.

Christopher Kernich, of Fairborn, was assaulted at about 2 a.m. Sunday at the 200 block of East Main Street. Responding officers from the Kent Police Department and Kent Fire/EMS found him unconscious, according to a police department press release.

The press release said the incident began when three suspects were in a car that was pulling out of a parking lot at the intersection of East Main and Depeyster streets. The car nearly struck Kernich and several others.

The suspects drove east on Main Street and pulled into a driveway, where they waited for Kernich and the group. Two of the suspects assaulted three members of the group, including Kernich.

Ronald G. Kelly, 20, and Adrian A. Barker, 21, of Akron were arrested and charged with felonious assault. Their bond was set at $75,000, and their preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. tomorrow in front of Judge John Plough.

Barker also faces a charge of obstructing official business because the police report said he “lied to officers about involvement by him and others.”

Several witnesses listed on the police report declined comment about the incident.

Sherry Kernich was working in Iraq when she found out about what happened. She returned Tuesday.

She said she was “blown away” by the amount of support her son has received. A Facebook group titled “Christopher Kernich — We Are Behind You” had more than 1,000 members and hundreds of wall posts as of 6:30 p.m. yesterday. In addition, Sherry Kernich said the waiting room at the hospital has been packed with friends and well-wishers.

“We just had a whole crowd here, mostly from Fairborn and Kent State,” she said. “He’s got a great group of friends.”

Rebecca Hall, who has known Kernich since elementary school, was driving up with her husband Benjamin from their current home in Washington D.C. She said five cars full of people from Fairborn were on their way to visit Christopher.

“He’s just such an all-around great guy, and everybody loved him,” she said. “He made such an impression on so many people and changed lives of people we went to high school with.”

Kent City Police are still investigating the incident and ask that anyone with information call the detective bureau at (330) 673-7732.

Meanwhile, Kernich’s friends are still in disbelief about the incident.

“I’m just at a loss for words because he didn’t provoke anything,” said Benjamin Hall, who has known Kernich since they were 5 years old. “Chris is just going to settle things talking first, with anything. He’s always been like that. He’s just got a good heart.”

Contact public affairs reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected]