Virginia teenager hurt in Central Park blast is healing


NEW YORK (AP) — A Virginia teenager who stepped on an explosive device in Central Park and lost part of his leg is healing and hopes to return to college, his father said Monday.

Kevin Golden spoke about his son, Connor Golden, at a Manhattan hospital where he’s being treated.

The 19-year-old University of Miami student from Fairfax, Virginia, was at the park July 3 with friends when he stepped on a rock covering the explosive.

The father said he got a call from the emergency room doctor at Bellevue Hospital telling him Connor Golden understood he would have to have his left leg amputated at the shin. He said Connor Golden told the doctor, “That’s OK, just don’t take my hands.”

With his voice breaking, his father said Connor Golden was happy that his hands were intact because he’s a musician.

Kevin Golden said his son underwent three operations and is “struggling with discomfort” but is encouraged about advancements in prosthetics.

It’s unclear when Connor Golden will get out of the hospital, but Kevin Golden said the family plans to take him home to Virginia for rehabilitation. Connor Golden wants to return to the University of Miami in the fall, his father said.

Kevin Golden said it’s “difficult to make sense of this type of incident.”

“If you happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time it can be a devastating, tragic thing for you,” he said.

Investigators don’t believe the explosive device was meant to hurt anyone.

There is a $12,500 reward being offered by police groups for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.