Man given affectionate nickname by eastside community attacked with baseball bat

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For more than 25 years, Darwin Barnett has run a variety of businesses near East 56th and Prospect in Kansas City.

"It's something for me to do. It keeps me busy and I really like doing it, " says the 75-year-old popular business owner affectionately known as "Mr. B."

On Friday afternoon "Mr. B" says he was working outside in back of his scooter shop when a 15-year-old boy, he's helped in the past, came to his business, but not to buy anything.

"I've sold him scooter parts before, and he always comes up here to get gas, but I know on Friday he distracted me," Barnett says.

Within moments, Barnett says an older teenager hit him several time with a baseball bat.

"I just couldn't believe it. I don't know if they wanted to rob me or steal one of the dirt bikes in my shop. I just know after he hit me, I fell and he hit me again," Barnett said during an exclusive interview on Monday.

"There was blood everywhere," Barnett said. "I guess once they realized I wasn't knocked out or dead they just ran off. Yes, I am mad and disappointed because it's just a black eye for our neighborhood and I have tried to do nothing, but help our neighborhood. They shouldn't have attacked me. I'm just lucky, real lucky to have survived."

"Man, that's a shame. He's the nicest guy. I've been knowing him ever since I was five years old running around and playing at his shop. Those guys need to ask themselves "was it worth it?" Mr. B could've been severely hurt or even killed. It just doesn't make any sense, " says a frustrated Gene Henry who works nearby.

On Sunday Barnett will celebrate his 76th birthday.

"Yep, this one will be really special because I know I could've been killed, " says Barnett.

Barnett tells FOX 4 police later found one of the teenagers and took him in to custody.

Meantime, in a few months, Barnett still plans to expand his business about a block away from where he was attacked.


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