Fowl: Chicken Suit Mascot Reveals How Life Has Changed After Vicious Attack Left Him Brain Damaged
The man who accidentally suffered brain damage at the hands of his classmates during a pep rally skit gone wrong is opening up about his struggles since the vicious attack.
In December 2010, then-17-year-old Mitch Carter had everything going for him.
The senior and class president at Bakersville High School in California had dressed up as a rival team's mascot — a chicken — for the rally. That was when his classmates jumped, dogpiled and began to beat Carter.
It was later discovered that he had suffered brain damage because of the incident.
“I just remember I’m pinned down so my arms are being held. My legs are being held and then this kid kicks my head like a football,” he told Inside Edition.
Once he was able to walk away, he recalled: “I wasn't right. From the way I was walking, from the way I felt, from the way my brain hurt.”
Carter's face was covered in scratches but the harm to his brain was far worse. Doctors diagnosed him with frontal lobe damage.
He claims he was pressured into wearing the costume. "I had a teacher who said: ‘Hey, do it for a little bit, everything will be okay."
Carter's mom, Lori, said the injury changed him completely.
"He was so very, very successful. So it's so hard to see him struggle. It has been very hard as a parent," she said.
He dreamed of becoming a doctor. Now he struggles just to read and he’s failed 40 college classes.
In June, The Kern County High School District agreed to settle the lawsuit filed by Mitch. He was awarded $10.5 million because of the attack.
His attorney, Nicholas Rowley, told Inside Edition: "He just can't put 2 and 2 together. He needs someone to say, 'all right, Mitch, you got to do this.' He won't remember where he put one thing or another or his car keys or won’t remember what he’s supposed to do that day. That’s something the front lobe of the brain does for us."
After Mitch complained about the attack, he claims he was actually bullied.
"They started calling him ‘Mitch the snitch,'" his lawyer said. "They threw a brick through his window. They made chicken sounds when he walked by."
In court, Carter's attorney took the highly unusual step of wearing the chicken suit during his closing arguments.
“I didn't like being in it, didn't feel good,” Rowley told Inside Edition. “It had no padding, you could barely see out of it. By putting it on in front of the jury I was able to tell them, 'you know what? This isn't fun.'"
Medical bills have totaled about $103,000 thus far, and future medical care is estimated to cost about $5 million, according to Rowley.