2013-10-05 / Front Page

Assault victim still critical

Outpouring of generosity for Colleen Bray Scarola


Colleen Bray Scarola was severely beaten with a baseball bat by her estranged husband. Hundreds of people have come to her family’s aid by helping them face the financial challenges of her hospitalization and for the care of her two young children. She is the daughter of David and Betty Haskins Bray of Coudersport, Colleen Bray Scarola was severely beaten with a baseball bat by her estranged husband. Hundreds of people have come to her family’s aid by helping them face the financial challenges of her hospitalization and for the care of her two young children. She is the daughter of David and Betty Haskins Bray of Coudersport, The victim of a violent beating that took place at her Burlington, Vt. home Sept. 22 remained in critical condition Thursday at Fletcher Allen Health Care, as a fundraising effort for her care generated tens of thousands of dollars.

Police said Colleen Scarola was bludgeoned in the head with a baseball bat by her estranged husband, James Scarola, 40, while the couple’s two young children slept upstairs.

Colleen, the daughter of David and Betty Haskins Bray of Coudersport, had filed for divorce two months earlier, but the couple and their two children still were living together. The children, ages seven and five, are now living with Colleen’s parents.

James Scarola, a self-published author of horror and suspense stories, is being held without bail on charges of attempted murder and aggravated domestic assault. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

According to reports, police believe James Scarola gave his children drugs that caused them to sleep through the attack. Police await the results of blood tests given to the children.

According to a statement included on a website set up by relatives of Colleen Scarola to raise money for her medical expenses and for the care of her two young children, she is on life support equipment at the hospital with “serious head trauma.”

As of Thursday evening, the “Help for Colleen Bray Scarola and Her Kids” website has raised $58,000 toward a goal of $100,000. The web site can be accessed at http://bit.ly/ScarolaFund, has attracted over 730 supporters to date.

The site’s organizers are Colleen Scarola’s parents, David and Betty Bray and her sister and brother-inlaw, Heather and Justin Graham.

A statement on the website from Colleen’s family states, in part, “We’d love to reach out and hug every single one of you. Our family is amazed and heartened by the curb improvements and a impossible generosity of the community, and Colleen’s friends and family. (It has been over a) week since this horrifific and senseless evil transpired, and yet we’re full of love, gratitude, and hope rather than grief and anger. We’re optimists, and you all have given us even more spirit and reason to be optimistic. Colleen soldiers on nearly seven days later, and we will continue to fifight for her every day.”

In addition to donating on the website, supporters can also mail donations to: Colleen Scarola to David Bray c/o Colleen Scarola, 30 Blodgett St., Unit 1, Burlington, VT 05401.

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