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CASE DESCRIPTION OF NON-LETHAL SHOOTINGS BY MONTH, DATE, AND CITY IN 2008:

TOTAL ATTACKS: 8

JUNE:

Miami, Florida
Two Homeless Men Shot with a BB Gun

June 11: John Rains, 51, and Willie Thomas, 48, two homeless men living in Miami, Florida, were shot early on June 11th.  Thomas was sleeping underneath Interstate 95 when he was shot with a BB gun, and Rains was riding by on his bike when he felt the shot and he saw a silver pickup truck drive by.  Thomas and Rains were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and were released. 

South Bend, Indiana
Homeless Man Shot by Teens in South Bend

June 18: A homeless man in South Bend was shot in the arm on June 18th after refusing to give up his bike.  Two teenagers were said to have driven up to the man that afternoon.  They then proceeded to demand the homeless man’s property, and when he refused, “the man was shot in the wrist.” Captain Phil Trent of the South Bend Police Department commented about the incident saying, “(it) was a crime of opportunity”. 

Columbus, Ohio 
Homeless Man Defends Campsite and Gets Attacked

June 29: Robert Clipner, 47, was shot by two adolescent men near his campsite in Columbus, Ohio.  The residents of the campsite have been harassed before by people in the area, and Clipner chose to take a stand against the two men who were throwing rocks down at the campsite.  The two men shot at him after Clipner told them to “move on their way,” said Brian J. Beavers, who is a detective with the police assault squad.  Beavers said that they hadn’t arrested anyone yet but that Clipner was taken to the hospital and survived the attack, with the bullet still remaining in his chest.  Clipner says that this was his first experience with “outside people, if that’s what you want to call them.”  Clipner and his girlfriend were planning to move to another campsite even before the attack, and other residents of the campsite are beginning to get worried.  Ken Andrews, an outreach coordinator at the Open Shelter, says that many of these incidences go unreported because the homeless tend to be independent and try to keep to themselves.

 

AUGUST:

Cleveland, Ohio
Homeless Man Shot at with Paintball Gun

August 7: A homeless male was crossing the street at North and Saint Clair when a gold Ford Contra drove up next to him. Inside the car there were four to five men. As they approached the victim, they pulled out a paintball gun and shot him 10 times. Once the attackers hit their target, they quickly drove away. Luckily, the victim experienced no injuries. There are no known suspects at the time, and the victim did not wish to press any charges.

 

DECEMBER:

Costa Mesa, California
Innocent Homeless Man is Attacked with Paintballs While Sleeping

December 26: The increasingly violent attacks against homeless people in Costa Mesa California went too far on December 26th when a group of suspected teenagers shot and nearly blinded homeless man Gregory Dahlgren with paintball guns.  Dahlgren had been sleeping in an alley behind B.K. Burgers when around 9 p.m. about 5 to 6 teenagers opened fire.  Completely vulnerable, Dahlgren was pelted on his hands, feet, face and upper torso.  “They blinded me,” Dahlgren had reported while showing “many purple welts on his hands”.  Barely escaping, the victim ran to a nearby liquor store where he found his two friends Jose Zamora and Scott Solverson.  Solverson noted, “He was bleeding real bad – all over his body… he had blood all over his face”.  Zamora noted, “I can’t imagine he (Dahlgren) would hurt anyone, why would anybody do this to him?”  There was no apparent motive for the crime.  Rushed to the local Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Dahlgren was told by doctors that he may lose sight in one eye.  Other such homeless attacks have been on the rise in the Costa Mesa area; however the majority of these attacks go unreported.  There have been no arrests so far; however officials are investigating internet sources for further leads and information.   

Riverside, California
Drive-by-shooting Aims at Homeless Man

December 30: On December 30 two unnamed 16 year-old youths were arrested in Riverside after drive-by-shooting a homeless man on the side of the road.  The driver, a resident of Hesperia was “arrested on suspicion of reckless driving and being an unlicensed driver.”  The shooter in the passenger seat was also arrested on suspicion of assault.  There was no motive to shoot the innocent homeless individual, suggesting the action was influenced by discrimination against homeless people as a group.


CONTENTS: Main page | pdf of full report | Acknowledgements | Dedication | Executive Summary | Purpose, Methodology, and Previous Reports | Introduction | Historical Summary of Hate Crimes/Violence Data for 1999-2008 | Summary of Hate Crimes/Violence Data in 2008 | Summary of Teen/Young Adult Involvement in Hate Crimes/Violent Acts | Summary of Ages of the Accused versus Ages of the Victims | Summary of Victims Who Were Middle-Aged | Cities where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Map of Cities where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | States where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Map of States where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Cities Where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred – 1999-2008 | Map of Cities Where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred – 1999-2008 | Comparison of Hate Crime Homicides vs. Lethal Attacks on Homeless Individuals | National Media Coverage of Hate Crimes/Violent Acts Against Homeless People | Video Exploitation of Homeless People | Recognizing Anti-Homeless Violence as Hate Crime, by Brian Levin | Legislation | Recommendations for Action | Model City/County/State Legislation/Resolutions | Adopted City/County/State Legislation/Resolutions | Public Education Initiatives | Listing of Incidents by City | Case Descriptions Involving Deaths | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Rape/Sexual Assault | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Setting on Fire | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Beatings | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Shootings | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Police Harassment/Brutality | Appendix A: Sources | Appendix B: NCH Hate Crimes Public Service Ads |

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