Police arrested the first of two suspects on Friday, Jan. 27. His name is not being released because he is a juvenile. The second suspect, 17-year-old Zantrell Sauls, is being charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, according to NBCDFW Channel 5.
Whitener was on his way home after performing in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Jan. 14, when he stopped at the Target store on Haskell. As he was walking into the store, he was approached by two young men, one of whom was carrying a wooden rod.
Whitener went inside the store and reported the two to an off-duty police officer a security guard, who then went outside and told the two suspects to leave the premises. But when Whitener left the store, just a few minutes past 11 p.m., the two attacked him as he walked toward his car, striking him in the head with the wooden rod.
Whitener suffered a fractured skull and was taken to Baylor Hospital, where he underwent brain surgery. He finally left the hospital last Saturday, Jan. 28.