Friends and family devastated by attack on Special Olympics athl - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Friends and family devastated by attack on Special Olympics athlete

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Gary Fuller, right (courtesy Jim O'Day) Gary Fuller, right (courtesy Jim O'Day)

MISSOULA - After Gary Fuller was assaulted on June 14 by a suspect wielding a baseball bat, he underwent emergency surgery for a head injury.

Many people in the Special Olympics community knew Fuller for his work as a Special Olympics global messenger and athlete.

Fuller has competed in Special Olympics for over 20 years and worked his way up to becoming a local and global leader.

Jim O'Day is a friend of Fuller's and a member of the Special Olympics state board of directors.

O'Day says Fuller is a passionate supporter of the organization, and it's a shame that such a thing could happen to such a special man.

"He does everything for everyone but himself," O'Day says. "He helps a lot of people, takes a lot of people to get their groceries, transports them around to different places. One time he talked about maybe being an Uber driver because he loves to listen to people's stories... You know he's just one of those guys that's really easy to talk to. Somebody that you get to know very quickly, and somebody that you know if you're going to get in the boat, you're going to get in the boat with Gary."

Another of Fuller's friends, who asked to be unnamed, says Fuller is a fighter and a determined man who will do anything for anyone. He described Fuller as one of the kindest and most selfless people he knows.

Fuller is still recovering at Providence St. Patrick Hospital.

His alleged assailant, Paul Ekstedt, is in Missoula County jail on a felony assault charge.

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