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'They could've killed him': Mom says son was beaten for his shoes

WCMH - COLUMBUS (WCMH) - A Columbus teen is out of the hospital after he was robbed and beaten unconscious, all because of a pair of shoes.

13-year-old Aiden Winter said he was so excited to buy his first pair of Air Jordan Sons of Mars shoes. Aiden bought the shoes three months ago, after working to mow grass in summer.

This past Sunday, Aiden, his sister and friend were walking to the store in west Columbus when he saw who he thought was an old friend.

"When I walked over there, he was like, 'Hey I like your shoes'," Aiden said. "He asked if they were real and I said yes."

That's when Aiden said the boy and nine others started to attack him.

"They started kicking me and punching me," he said. "All I heard was my sister say, 'Don't take it, don't take it [the shoes]'."

Aiden's mother, Erika Winter, said the attackers "punched and kicked him until he was unconscious, and then they kept punching and kicking him until someone called the police."

"They stopped, took my shoes off, checked my pockets and ran," Aiden said.

"It's infuriating," Erika Winter said. "They could've killed him."

Aiden was rushed to Nationwide Children's Hospital, where he spent a day recovering. Columbus police took a report and continue to investigate the incident.

On Monday evening, Aiden still had signs of the brawl across his face, head and on the right side of his body.

"Right now I feel fine, but earlier I was in a lot of pain," said the teenager.

Erika Winter is relieved her son is home from the hospital but wants all of the young men who attacked Aiden to be held responsible.

"It's reprehensible to beat a child into unconsciousness, and then beat him over tennis shoes," she said. "I think the important thing is making sure these kids don't do this to anybody else."

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