Local musician attacked, robbed in West Plaza gets outpouring support from community

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A lot of help eases some of the trauma for a Mission man just days after he thought he'd come face to face with death.

Now members of the community are stepping up to help him.

Joshua Merello is a professional musician and said he's lucky to be alive after police said he was attacked. He'll be OK, but for now, his car and instruments are gone.

"I was parked right here," Merello said. "I didn't even get out of my car."

Merello said he was parked on 44th Terrace near the busy intersection of Holly and Roanoke in West Plaza Saturday morning after a friend's wedding rehearsal party. He was sitting in his car about to drive home when he said two men in their 30s approached his car.

"I honestly thought I was going to die," Merello said.

He said the two men opened his driver and passenger doors and attacked him.

"Beat me up, threw me on the ground, drove off that way, and the only witness was parked up the street," Merello said.

Merello said a good Samaritan ran to help him, and called police. He said his bruises will heal, but his car, phone, and instruments, and equipment are gone.

He is a local musician that plays shows around town, teaches kids about music, and provides music therapy for people with Alzheimer's.

"Every single time when I play there's some kind of reaction, or connection with the person that maybe is not there just talking to them, which always amazes me," Merello said.

Joshua Wilson with Modern Man Supply Co. said Merello played at his store, and he was instantly impressed.

"Super nice guy, super humble," Wilson said. "I kind of froze for a second. It was crazy. I saw the picture and I thought maybe he got in a fight, but then when I saw what happened I was speechless."

Through the end of this week, Modern Man Supply Co. is giving 50% of their sales to help Joshua get new equipment.

"We're able to kind of divert this money to other things," Wilson said. "Especially with Josh, who literally spends every day trying to help people, there's no reason not to help him in return."

"That time of just losing faith in humanity, and businesses, musicians, artists, strangers, family, friends, everyone's just been offering - you can use my car, you can use my guitar, you can whatever - whatever you need," Merello said.

Merello said more than anything he hopes his story reminds others who have been through the same thing that they are not alone.

"I’ve very much realized that they’re things. Those can be replaced," Merello said. "It’s obviously so frustrating to have to start over, but like I said - I thought that was it. So, I don’t care about a guitar or an amp in the same way as I have an appreciation of just being here."

Modern Man will be at Josey Records in the Crossroads for First Friday. If you want to help you can buy online, or in person then. Wilson says he's working with Overland Park Guitar Center and Brooksider Guitar to replace the items at cost with the proceeds they raise through Modern Man sales.

You can also contribute to a Gofundme set up by Merello.

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