Four Teens Leave Homeless Man in Critical
8: Four teenagers beat and stabbed
an unidentified homeless man, leaving him in critical condition at Queen’s
Medical Center. Lynn Mauneaka,
director of The Institute for Human Services, an emergency shelter in
Oahu, described the attack as “extreme” and “ugly.”
A witness reported one of the attackers saying, “I got the guy
good by knifing him.” Savannah Balai, 19, Percy Elevenia, 18, and an unnamed
15-year-old were charged with second-degree assault.
Sources: Honolulu Advertiser, “4 arrested
in attack on homeless man,” 1/10/04; Honolulu Advertiser “3 charged
in beating of homeless man” 1/13/04
Couple Beats Homeless Man, Leaves Him to
Die in the Snow
8: Shirin Galinkin, 27, and
David Pulcino, 45, were arrested and charged with second-degree murder
on October 25 for the death of 57-year old Jeffery Thompson.
and Pulcino admitted to severely beating Thompson during an argument after
the three had been drinking together.
The couple then left Thompson to die under an old railroad trestle,
where a passerby found his body.
a Vietnam veteran, was well known in the small town of Maple Valley, where
he had lived in his entire life.
He performed odd jobs for neighbors, told stories, and lent out
books from his large collection.
Thompson’s death, the town held a memorial service, and a local 16-year
old helped raise a $200 reward for anyone who could help catch Thompson’s
responded on a very deep level to his soul,” noted Maple Valley resident
Stanette Marie Rose.
Times, “Couple arrested in beating death of homeless man,” 10/21/04;
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Arrests in death of homeless man left
to die in snowy January,” 10/22/04; Seattle Times, “Pair held in
killing of homeless man,” 10/22/04; Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
“Couple charged with killing homeless man,” 10/26/04; New York Times,
“Homeless Man is Killed and a Town Pours Out Prayers,” 11/03/04
York City, New York
MTA Police Charged With Assaulting Homeless Man
18: Sergeant Joseph Camean and
Officer Michael Koenig, both police officers with the Metropolitan Transit
Authority, were indicted in the beating of a homeless man after ejecting
him from Penn Station. Koenig and two fellow officers escorted Maurice
Cherry out of Penn Station. According to the assistant district attorney,
an argument then ensued in which Koenig began to beat Cherry over the
head with a metal baton, causing him to curl into the fetal position.
witnesses reported the assault, which was also captured by a surveillance
Camean, 32, was later informed of the assault, but both he and Koenig
failed to report the incident to authorities or record it in their memo
Koenig, age 34, was charged with Assault in the Second Degree, Falsifying
Business Records in the First Degree, and Official Misconduct. Sergeant Camean was charged with Falsifying
Business Records in the First Degree and Official Misconduct. Both officers
initially pleaded not guilty and were suspended from the MTA without pay.
later changed his plea to guilty and was ordered to do 200 hours of community
service; he eventually resigned from his position.
Sources: News Release, District Attorney of New
York County, 10/12/04; Daily News, “Charge 2 MTA Cops Beat Homeless
Man,” 10/13/04; New York Times, “Officer Charged in Beating of
Homeless Man Outside Penn Station,” 10/13/04; Homeless Grapevine,
“MTA Police Officer Beats Homeless Man,”#69-2005
Man Seeking Refuge from Cold Beaten to Death
26: An unidentified homeless
man, believed to be in his 20’s, was found dead in the basement of an
apartment building where he had been seeking refuge from the bitter cold. Jose Perez, 42, was charged with second-degree
murder and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the fatal
Source: New York Daily News, “Charge Tenant
in Slaying at Brooklyn Building” 1/26/04
Women and Children Harassed Outside Mission
22: Women and children, residents
at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, were pelted with rocks by a group of
neighborhood men. The attacks
stopped when a young male resident from the mission intervened. Later, as the same young man walked down the street, approximately
20 men jumped him. When he
returned to the mission for help, he was turned away. The man filed a
police report, but no progress has been made.
Source: Lori Anne Fuller,
Kalamazoo Homeless Action Network, 5/10/04
Teens Beat a Homeless Man in His Sleep
23: Two teenagers, 17 and 18, were arrested and charged
with battery for attacking a sleeping homeless man.
58-year-old man was found with large, bloody cuts on his forehead. A witness directed two police officers
to the location where “several males” were beating the homeless man. When the police arrived, they saw the
teens punch the victim repeatedly, then stand up, laugh, and give each
Keysnews.com, “Teens accused of beating a homeless man in Key West,”
York City, New York
3 Department of Homeless Services Officers
Arrested in the Beating of a Shelter Resident
31: Sgt. Raul Perez, 29, along with officers Wayne Davidson, 44,
and Richie Mann, 28 were charged with assault for the beating of a resident
in the Bellevue Men’s Shelter in Manhattan.
The three peace officers, employed by the Department of Homeless
Services (DHS), attacked the 20-year-old man in a hallway and elevator
with a metal garbage can. The man was treated for cuts and bruises.
spokesman for DHS, Jim Anderson, said the agency will not stand for any
abuse and that “the alleged abuse of power sharply contradicts the values
and standard practices of the program.
DHS has no tolerance for behavior of this type and the three officers
have been suspended without pay.”
Source: Newsday “3 officers held in beating
at shelter” 4/2/04
Teen Hits, Kicks, and Stomps Homeless Man
16: Stephen Withrow, 17, is
charged with murder, manslaughter, robbery, and assault after allegedly
killing Curtis Dean Kizer, a 42-year old homeless man.
to local authorities, Withrow told detectives that on April 16, he drank
nine beers with several friends in the woods. Soon after Withrow, with
two friends, approached Kizer, who was waiting to be served dinner by
a local church group. He made small talk with Kizer, and then punched
him in the face without warning, rendering him unconscious.
continued to punch Kizer in the face, all the while yelling, swearing,
and referring to him as homeless.
He then repeatedly climbed up a set of nearby stairs and jumped
onto Kizer’s chest.
friends and the youths accompanying Withrow agreed that the attack was
has a criminal record, including charges of first-degree theft, unlawful
possession of a firearm, possession of alcohol by a minor, criminal mischief,
and first-degree burglary.
police found two binders in Withrow’s room that contained handwritten
notes about his desire to kill someone.
Withrow pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was given 20 years in
Associated Press, “Teen facing murder charge in death of homeless
man,” 4/21/04; Bend Bulletin, “Teen arraigned in case of Drake
Park killing,” 4/28/04; Bend.com, “Teen Drake Park slaying suspect
had many run-ins,” 5/7/04; Bend.com, “Footbridge murder suspect
to enter plea Dec. 6,” 10/4/04; The Associated Press State & Local
Wire, “Teen will serve 20 years after manslaughter plea,” 4/13/05
Homeless Man Beaten by 19 Year-Old
15: 19-year-old Daniel Cronin
was arrested and charged for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Cronin was reported to have hit a 51 year-old homeless man with a rock
and then chased him with a stick.
Source: The Patriot Ledger “Homeless man beaten; police make
Man Set on Fire, Found Two Days Later
29: A sleeping 53-year-old homeless
man was set on fire in the downtown area, sustaining serious burns on
his back and arms. He was discovered two days later when a passerby heard
his moans. The police are searching for three teenagers
between the ages of 15 and 18 believed to be responsible for the attack.
Los Angeles Times, “Teens Who Set Homeless Man on Fire Sought”
Press, “Teens Allegedly Set Homeless Man on Fire,” 5/30/04
Homeless Man Beaten to Death
15: 43-year-old Curtis Ray Wilson,
a homeless man, was severely beaten before collapsing and dying in the
lobby of a business in Austin. Several months after the savage beating
death, his alleged attacker was arrested and brought to trial. His motivation
purportedly was to impress his girlfriend.
suffered from mental illness. He was known and loved by hundreds of people
for his good nature and sense of humor.
the Homeless, an Austin advocacy group, honored Lisa Morrill, the detective
who arrested Wilson’s alleged killer, with the Curtis Ray Wilson Compassion
Award. She was recognized for resisting pressures to close the case; insisting
that Mr. Wilson was a “regular person and deserved to be treated as decently
as anyone else.” The name of Curtis Ray Wilson was read along with eighty-eight
other people at the 2004 Homeless memorial Sunrise Service. Each year
Austinites and concerned citizens from all across the nation, gather in
their local communities to acknowledge the men and women who have lost
their lives while living on the streets of America.
KEYE, “Homeless Man Murdered in Austin,” 6/16/04; KVUE News, “Suspect
identified in attack on homeless man,” 6/18/04; Richard R. Troxell, President
of House the Homeless, Austin
Up to Eight Suspects Set Sleeping Man on
15: At approximately 3:45 a.m.,
a homeless man, Lucas Adam Wiser, 21,was sleeping in front of Corpus Christi
Metro Ministries, when he was set on fire. He was hospitalized with third-degree
burns on his arms and legs. Police
suspect that up to eight men were involved in the crime. Surveillance
cameras recorded the attack, leading to the conviction of two individuals.
a 15-year-old boy, accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to a maximum
10-year term for aggravated assault. Another man, Michael Enoch, 20, was
sentenced to 10 years in prison for the same crime.
fear that this may be related to other attacks on homeless people. Three other attacks by teenagers have
recently occurred in the area. “One
guy was asleep and woke up to find an iron bar across his face,” attests
Patricia Henry of the Mother Teresa Shelter. One homeless man was beaten with a belt buckle. Another attack occurred when a homeless
man was nearly run over by car following a confrontation.
Associated Press, “Video shows homeless man being set ablaze,”
6/17/04; Dallas Morning News, “Advocate for homeless fears attacks
may be on the rise,” 6/18/04; Houston Chronicle “Torching of homeless
man caught on camera / Corpus Christi police seek clues” 6/18/04; Caller
Times, “Homeless man flees hospital,” 6/19/04; Real Change,
“North American Newsbriefs,” 6/20/04; Houston Chronicle, “Teen
Detained in Attack on Homeless Man Set Ablaze,” 6/21/04; Corpus Christi
Caller-Times, “Fire suspect, 15, accepts plea deal.”9/22/04
Runs Into Homeless Man’s Shopping Cart
13: Jesse Holt, 23, has been
charged with aggravated assault after deliberately driving his pickup
truck into 48-year-old Kenneth McCart’s shopping cart. The well-known
and well-liked McCart sustained injuries to his knees, elbows, and forehead.
Following the accident, McCart began to suffer from seizures and is currently
receiving treatment at Skyline Medical Center.
admits intentionally running into the shopping cart, claiming that he
was angry that McCart was “lollygagging in the road being a safety hazard,”
but says that he had no intention of seriously injuring McCart. After
hitting McCart, Holt continued driving to his job at Papa John’s, where
he was currently on the clock.
The Tennessean, “Driver hits homeless man’s cart deliberately,”
6/27/04; The Tennessean, “Some think attacks on homeless should
be considered hate crimes,” 9/5/0
York City, New York
Two Teens Viciously Beat Homeless Man to
Death Outside Church
17: Dashorn Washington and Jamel
Robinson, both 15, were charged with second-degree murder in the death
of 51-year-old William Pearson, who officially died of a fractured skull.
to police reports, Washington and Robinson pulled the sleeping Pearson
out of an abandoned car parked at a gas station. They proceed to kick
and punch him, eventually hitting him with a nearby milk crate.
was able to free himself and run toward St. Gabriel’s Roman Catholic Church.
The teens soon caught up and began hitting him with garbage cans.
They followed Pearson into the churchyard and attacked him with
as many as thirty bricks. Pearson
managed to crawl to the front of the church, where a priest saw him and
died soon after the 3:15 a.m. call.
“His head was a bloody mess,” one officer reported. Neither Washington
nor Robinson have shown remorse for the murder, police say. One was reported to have bragged, “I got
was well known and liked by many of the older residents of the area. He
was described as kind-hearted and helpful during his three or four years
on the street, which began after his mother died. Children in the neighborhood
nicknamed him Mr. Billy.
teenagers however, frequently harassed him.
Washington and Robinson were charged as adults with murder and criminal
possession of a weapon. In April of 2005, a jury took only a few hours
to convict Robinson of second-degree murder.
May of 2005, Robinson was given the maximum sentence of 15 years to life
in prison. “You took a helpless
person and stoned him to death….
I can think of few crimes that are worse than that,” Brooklyn Supreme
Court Justice Anne Feldman told Robinson, now 16.
New York Daily News, “Beaten to death at Mary’s feet,” 6/18/04;
New York Times, “Homeless Man Dies in Beating; Police Arrest 2
Teenagers,” 6/18/04; New York Times, “Homeless Man is Killed; 2
Teenagers Are Arrested,” 6/18/04; New York Post, “’I Got My Body,’”
6/18/04; Newsday “Killing of Homeless Man” 6/19/04;New York
Daily News, “Homeless Man’s Killer Gets Max,” 5/3/05; New York
Times, “Teenager Gets Maximum Term for Killing Homeless Man,”5/4/0
Homeless Man Beaten By Youths
16: A homeless man, who wishes
to remain anonymous, was attacked with baseball bats by a group of young
men as he slept outdoors in his sleeping bag.
Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF), 6/16/0
Killing of Bar Owner Stirs Up Hatred Against
24: According to District Attorney
Tim Harris, bar owner Shawn Howard, 35, and bar manager Josh Martin came
upon homeless man Terry Badgewell, 39, as they were attempting to drive
away drug dealers. The two men ordered Badgewell to leave.
altercation ensued in which Howard struck Badgewell in the face with a
pair of brass knuckles. In
turn Badgewell hit Howard repeatedly with a pipe, killing him. Since the
incident, homeless citizens of Tulsa have faced intense criticism and
posters have been placed around town prominently featuring Badgewell’s
image. T-shirts stating,
“Fuck the homeless” have been printed and distributed throughout Tulsa. Homeless people who frequent a local Salvation
Army shelter have been chased away.
declined to prosecute the case, saying that the evidence indicates that
Badgewell was acting in self-defense.
However, Howard’s mother filed a petition in August seeking a grand
jury probe of her son’s death. The
petition received enough signatures to warrant the creation of a grand
jury to indict Badgewell.
has been in jail since December 9, 2004. He faces trial on charges of
first-degree murder and assault with a dangerous weapon.
will defend this vigorously,” stated Badgewell’s attorney, Steve Hjelm.
Associated Press, “Tulsa Bar Owner’s Family Fails To Sway Prosecutor,”
8/2/04; Associated Press, “Fatal beating of bar owner by homeless
man leads to backlash against homeless in Tulsa,” 8/17/04; Associated
Press, “Petition Granted For Grand Jury Investigation,” 8/17/04; Seattle
Post-Intelligencer, “Tulsa killing sparks war against homeless,” 8/17/04;
Chicago Sun-Times, “Oklahomans lash out at homeless for slaying,”
8/18/04; Associated Press, “Grand jury indicts man in death of
bar owner,” 12/9/04; The Associated Press State & Local Wire,
“Man bound over for trial on beating charges,”4/28/05
in fatal beating
6: James Edward Johnson, 39,
was arrested for the fatal beating of Keith Lusby, 48, a homeless man. Witnesses say that Johnson attacked him
after Lusby made a negative comment to Johnson’s girlfriend. Lusby’s severely beaten body was found
behind a gas station. The
state medical examiner’s office determined that he died from fatal head
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Essex man arrested
in fatal beating murder charge is filed in homeless man’s death. Suspect admitted role, police say,” 7/06/04
Tensions Mounting due to Attacks on Homeless
17: The homeless community of
Galveston has experienced attacks, virtually everyday, at the hands of
teenagers armed with bats, knives, and guns. Between April and June, 18
homeless people were hospitalized due to these assaults.
Davis, 39, was chased by bicyclists wielding bats, and saved only by a
motorist who opened her car door to let him in.
Michael Seesman, 50, pointed out holes in windows where BB pellets
were shot at a homeless camp. Roy Wright suffered a slash on his arm from
shoulder to elbow, while his friend was beaten into a concussion.
one police report has been filed for crime against a homeless resident;
a 50-year-old man was hit in the mouth. Local homeless people note, however,
that many more attacks have occurred.
Incidents go unreported due to negative relations between police
and people experiencing homelessness, where 83 citations have already
been given this year for impeding the sidewalk, each costing up to $127.
Houston Chronicle, “Men blame teens for rash of attacks at Galveston
out a Homeless Man to Beat and Kill
29: The body of Horacio Lima,
43, was found underneath a bridge in Milwaukee.
Police say that he was beaten over the head repeatedly with what
was probably a piece of lumber.
According to the reports of other homeless people, this beating
was one of many violent acts against the homeless community in that area. Police are searching for two suspects
in the case, but no arrests have been made.
Sources: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Death of Homeless Man Draws Inquiry” 7/31/04; The Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel “Attackers Bash” 8/3/04
Man Beaten to Death by Teens Claiming “Boredom”
17: Two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old
were arrested and charged with murder in the beating death of Dalrus Joseph
Brown (“DJ”), 52.
teens told police that they had originally intended to shoot factory windows
with their BB guns, but when they came upon Brown, they changed their
boys began to hit and kick the sleeping homeless man, and then shot him
repeatedly with a BB gun. Finally,
they beat him with wooden boards and ripped apart his makeshift shelter. Brown, who made money by recycling cans,
was found dead with his face and clothing covered in blood.
later reported that the boys claimed to have killed Brown because “they
were bored and they didn’t have anything to do.” It has not yet been decided if the three teens will be tried
vicious attack on Brown came on the heels of several other attacks on
homeless men in the area similarly involving boards and weapons.
Oakland Tribune, “Homeless man killed by youths,” 7/18/04; KTVU,
“Vicious Thugs Terrorize Oakland Homeless,” 7/19/04; San Francisco
Chronicle, “Youths’ fatal beating of homeless man is mystery to his
family,” 7/20/04;Oakland Tribune, “3 teens arrested in homeless
man’s death,” 7/24/04; Bay City News, “Police: Teens in Homeless
Beating Were Bored,” 7/26/04; Associated Press, “Suspects in Slaying
of Homeless Man Just ‘Bored,’” 7/27/04; Street Spirit, “The Murder
of a Homeless Man in Oakland,” August 2004; San Francisco Bay View,
“Attacks along the railroad tracks,” 8/11/04
Youths Attack Homeless Man, Flee in Stolen
19: Three 14-year-old boys and
a 15-year-old girl were involved in the assault of a 54-year-old homeless
man in the early morning of August 19.
The boys knocked the man down and repeatedly kicked and punched
him as the girl stood by watching.
teens fled in a car after an off-duty police officer stopped to assist
the man. All four were arrested
soon after they abandoned the vehicle at a gas station and tried to run
girl told police that the three boys had beaten another homeless man without
provocation just an hour before. All three of the boys were charged with
assault, while two of the boys and the girl were charged with vehicular
to Don Bertis, director of a local shelter, reports of abuse are not uncommon,
though many go undocumented. In the past month, one man’s tent was set
on fire and two other people were beaten to the point of needing medical
Anchorage Daily News, “Group of 14-year-olds beat homeless man,”
Homeless Man Attacked
26: A 50-year-old homeless man
was robbed and assaulted by a man who stole his watch. The victim was able to give police the first name of his attacker,
who is suspected of attacking a number of other homeless people in the
area in recent weeks.
Everything Michigan, “Homeless man assaulted, robbed,” 8/26/04
Sleeping Homeless Man Beaten to Death
10: James Z. Cotton, 22, was
arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of
63-year-old homeless man Floyd Johnson, locally known as Rico.
admitted that he stomped on and kicked Johnson before beating him to death
with pieces of Johnson’s own wooden table.
Police discovered Johnson with massive head injuries on the sidewalk
where he slept. He died at
a nearby hospital.
friends describe him as a good and respectful man who was constantly the
victim of cruelty. In one
incident both his walker and cane had been stolen.
In another case, an unknown attacker exploded fireworks in his
mouth while he slept.
ABC 7, “Homeless man beaten to death,” 8/10/04; Chicago Tribune,
“Homeless man beaten to death on sidewalk,” 8/11/04; Chicago Tribune,
“Suspect held in beating death of homeless man,” 8/15/04
Homeless Man Stabbed to Death
7: Curtis Gordon Adams, 33,
was arrested in the stabbing death of homeless man Clyde Ashcraft, 38.
suspect that Adams had paid Ashcraft to let him beat him up in order to
impress an ex-girlfriend.
and the ex-girlfriend began arguing in the middle of the street in the
late afternoon, as Ashcraft sat nearby in his wheelchair. Witnesses reported
that Adams then pulled out a knife and began punching and stabbing Ashcraft,
finally killing him with a stab to the throat.
Ashcraft collapsed back into his wheelchair, Adams whipped his hands down
Ashcraft’s body, then licked the blood from his fingers. A neighbor stood
by Ashcraft’s side, comforting him as he died.
according to someone who had taken him in, was obsessed with the desire
to win back his ex-girlfriend and had already served time for first-degree
assault. Ashcraft had lived on the streets for five years. Frostbite claimed half of his right foot and all the toes on
his left; he used a wheelchair for support. Ashcraft and his dog were
close to finding a permanent home through Section 8 housing.
of Ashcraft believe it was far-fetched for him to agree to a paid beating.
had no comments.
Sources: The Denver Post, ”Painful life,
brutal ending in city street. A
Denver homeless man is slain in a possibly planned attack to “impress”
the accused killer’s ex-girlfriend.
It escalated into a bloody death,” 8/08/04;
The Denver Post, “Homeless man slain in bizarre stabbing,”
Pattern in Attacks Near Shelter
25: Officials at the Greenville
Community Shelters stated that shelter residents have reported attacks
that ranged from egg throwing to violent assaults.
police have only received one official report of an assault against a
homeless person. Major Kevin
Smeltzer, with the Greenville Police Department, said that if there are
other similar incidents, the police need to hear about them. “There’s not any pattern of one group of people going around
and beating up people that we’ve been made aware of,” Smeltzer said.
Lou Williams, shelter operations manager, said that there have been five
incidents involving homeless people in or near the shelter. In one case,
four residents were sitting at a playground near the shelter when a group
of youths threw rocks at them in late May. In June, a group of youths
threw rocks at the shelter and vehicles in an adjacent parking lot, but
no damages were reported. In another case, a shelter resident reported
that on August 18th a group of kids threw rocks at a shelter
entrance and tried to push the door open as an employee held it closed.
Source: The Daily Reflector, “Police:
No pattern in attacks near shelter,” 8/25/04
Piedras, Puerto Rico
Man Wounded in Pre-Dawn Shooting
10: According to police reports, homeless man Meftali Mojica was
wounded in a pre-dawn shooting. The unidentified attacker stepped out
of his car and shot Mojica in the abdomen before speeding away.
The San Juan Star: “Homeless man wounded in pre-dawn shooting”
Homeless Man Shot and Beaten
28: Up to six men attacked a
56-year-old homeless man behind a church.
The man had been sleeping in a tent when he heard approaching footsteps.
Upon leaving his tent, he was blinded by a light and then shot twice in
the stomach with a pellet gun. In
addition he was punched in the arm and the head, causing him to fall to
the ground. The man was treated at a local hospital
for his injuries.
Aurora Beacon News, “Homeless man beaten behind church,” 9/30/04
Two Homeless Men
24: Three youths, aged 12, 14,
and 16, attacked two homeless men by pelting them with rocks under a bridge. Each teen has been charged with two counts
of assault with a deadly weapon and disturbing the peace.
The Detroit News, “Seniors may be targets of attacks,” 11/15/04
Teens Kill Homeless Man Over $5 Dispute
21: Three teenagers were arrested
for the murder of 48-year-old homeless man Thomas Hardy. All three teens will be tried as adults.
Schwartz, 17, Anthony Glacken, 17, and Dustin Moser, 18, were all charged
with second and third-degree murder, robbery, and criminal conspiracy. Moser is also charged with first-degree
say that Glacken and Schwartz had attended a party at the campsite where
Hardy’s body was later found. Hardy
gave several beers to the teens, for which Glacken says he paid for.
An argument soon broke out in which Schwartz hit Hardy several
two teens left the campsite and returned later with Moser to “finish the
fight” and get Glacken’s money back.
The three teens repeatedly beat Hardy over the head with their
fists and a wooden log until he was unconscious. They then rifled through
his pockets, stealing his money, wallet, ID, and lottery tickets. Hardy ultimately died of blunt force trauma to the head. Prosecutors
expect the trials for all three teens to begin in September 2005.
Gettysburg Times, “Homeless man murdered,” 9/24/04;Patriot News,
“3 face trial in beating death; Teens Robbed Homeless Man of $4 at his
campsite, police say,” 9/30/04; Evening Sun, “Hardy murder trial
on docket,” 12/30/04
Homeless Man Target of Drive-by Shooting
September 27: Edwin Vazquez Parrilla, 30, was wounded Saturday night in a drive-by shooting.
An unidentified gunman pulled up and shot the homeless man in the leg
before driving off. He was taken to Carolina Regional Hospital, where
he was listed in stable condition.
The San Juan Star: “Homeless man target of drive-by shooting,”
Teens Beat Homeless Man, Then Torch His
18: Two sixteen-year-old girls,
Princess Gause and Tyleisha Dutton, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal
mischief after they attacked 50-year-old homeless Navy veteran Michael
Coene. The girls were arrested after they bragged to friends at school
about the attack.
teens admitted buying gasoline, pouring it on Coene’s belongings, and
lighting them on fire as a 14-year-old companion beat Coene with a shovel
handle. Coene lost everything he owned, including
his Bible, his insulin, and his clothes.
suffered an injured knee and hand in the attack, and needed stitches in
his left ear. The local Homeless
Action Committee and private donors have started a fund to help Coene.
and Dutton must now undergo psychiatric evaluations and complete 100 hours
of community service in nearby homeless shelters. The boy has been charged
with felony assault.
Times Union, “After beating, homeless man grateful for help,” 10/21/04;
Capital 9 News, “Fund started for homeless man,” 10/21/04; WTEN, “Two
More Arrested In Homeless Man Beating,” 10/22/04; Fox 23, “More Teens
Charged In Homeless Man Attack,” 10/24/04; Street Roots, “Teens
admit involvement in attack on homeless man,” 11/22/04; Times Union,
“Teenage girls admit roles in beating, fire,” 12/1/04
Teens Brutally Beat Homeless Man to Death
20: Three teenagers were arrested
and charged with murder, first-degree manslaughter, and second-degree
assault in the beating death of 52-year-old Mark Miller.
who friends say began to turn his life around by doing odd jobs for local
families, was found beaten to death under a bridge. His injuries ranged
from broken ribs and a broken nose to a lacerated liver and a collapsed
Cassidy, 19, Michael Martin, 19, and Tyler Boyce, 15, allegedly had several
with Miller in the weeks before his death. All three will be tried as adults.
Sources: KEZI, “Homeless
Man Beaten to Death,” 10/21/04; Corvallis Gazette-Times, “Negotiations
under way in homicide case,” 1/5/05
Numerous Homeless Deaths Recall Killings
17: As of October 2004, at least
nine homeless men have been murdered in Denver, eclipsing the seven murders
of Denver homeless men in 1999.
Three of this year’s cases have been solved; yet only one of the
cases from 1999 has been solved.
Darwin Torres, David Tricola, Mark Iverson, Gary Trujillo, Clyde Ashcraft
Lee Goldsmith, Anastacio Rodriguez, Stephen Nye, and Michael Weibel have
all been killed in the past several months.
They were variously beaten, shot, run over, or stabbed.
one suspect, Steven Frank Lucero, 38, has been arrested. He will be tried
for the stabbing death of Michael Weibel.
non-lethal attacks on the homeless have occurred as well. Five teens beat a homeless man with a
two-by-four near the South Platte River.
Another group beat a man in a wheelchair, stealing his prescription
pain medicine. Ned Sokolovic,
during his first night homeless, was robbed of all his money and then
beaten with a tire iron.
people have expressed alarm about the escalating violence often initiated
by thrill-seeking youths. One
homeless man reported that three youths recently pummeled him just for
fun while he was having a seizure. Another homeless man said he was beaten
by a group of young men and women after he tried to stop them from hitting
Valerio, a police officer who has worked with homeless people for seven
years, said Denver’s homeless know that at night they must group together
to avoid young drunks who prey on them. The police do not believe a link
exists between the recent homicides of homeless men and the 1999 murders.
Denver Post, “Deaths of 2 men being investigated,” 6/30/04;Denver
Post, “Another homeless man killed. Second body is found; police believe
slayings are not related,” 7/1/04; Denver Post, “On Denver’s streets,
the homeless are easy prey,” 10/17/04; Denver VOICE, “Violence
on the Street,” October 2004; Denver VOICE, “It’s 1999, all over
again!” November 2004
Teen Attacks Homeless Man
28: A 51-year-old homeless man
was found bleeding and unresponsive after being beaten by a teenager as
he crossed a street. The
man was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment.
suspect, who remains at large, is a white male, approximately 17 years
old, 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, with short brown hair and a black leather
Sources: NBC 4, “Homeless
Man Beat In Fairfax County,” 10/28/04; Washington Post, “Fairfax
Homeless Man Beaten by Youth,” 10/29/04
Homeless Woman Suffocated
24: Homeless woman Patricia
Ann Harkey, 38, was found suffocated outside the home of 30-year-old Ryan
Lee Vetter. Vetter, who has a criminal history including kidnapping and
assault, was arrested and charged with the murder.
KATU, “Keizer man charged in death of homeless woman,” 10/24/04; Associated
Woman Was Suffocated,” 10/26/04
Homeless Man Attacked By Park Rangers
park rangers accosted a homeless man, who had been allowed to use the
state park shower facilities free of charge, when he attempted to take
his weekly shower.
rangers, who were not wearing official uniforms and did not identify themselves,
asked to search the man’s backpack and frisk him. Fearing an assault,
the man asked for a senior ranger or a police officer to be present.
rangers refused, and insisted that he hand over his backpack. When he
did not, they began to kick and wrestle with him. One ranger struck him
with a flashlight, cracking his collarbone.
man was then handcuffed and taken to the Sheriff’s Department. His bicycle
and belongings were confiscated and not returned for several days. The
homeless man was only allowed to leave the jail after his pastor posted
Incident Report Form, Davy Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, October
Beat Homeless Man to Death
10: Three teenagers have been
arrested and charged as adults with first-degree intentional homicide
in the beating death of Rex Baum, 49.
Ihrcke, 17, Luis Oyola, 16, and Nathan Moore, 15, admitted to killing
the homeless man, who died of multiple blunt force trauma.
told police that the three teens went into the woods looking for “where
the bum lived.” They came across Baum in the forest, and asked him to
buy them beer. He agreed,
and the four drank together.
Baum went to get a sandwich from his cooler, Ihrcke began throwing leaves
and wrappers at Baum’s head, while another teen smeared feces on his ear. Moore threw a stick at Baum’s face, causing
him to bleed.
beating soon escalated, as the teens attacked Baum with rocks, a flashlight,
a grill, a pipe, a bat, and their feet.
More feces were smeared on Baum’s head. Baum tried to escape, but
the teens decided to kill him to keep him from going to police.
continued beating Baum until they suspected he was dead. According to
a criminal complaint report, the teens beat the man for fun, and then
“hit the victim one last time to see if he would make a sound like in
Grand Theft Auto. He didn’t.” Ihrcke then pulled out a knife and cut
Baum twice to see if he was still alive.
“’He didn’t move or nothing,” Ihrcke said.
they killed Baum, the teens wiped the bat clean and covered Baum’s body
with plastic and rocks, hoping animals would eat him before the body was
discovered. Another homeless
man found Baum two days later.
100 friends, relatives, and strangers attended Baum’s funeral. He was a familiar and welcome face for
many in the town; remembered as a hardworking, friendly, helpful and generous
man. Faisal Bhimani, a local storeowner for whom Baum often did odd jobs,
said that he had just lost his best friend.
is not the first homeless man to be murdered in the area in recent months. A 43-year-old homeless man was found beaten
to death under a viaduct in July.
March of 2005, two of the teens entered guilty pleas. Ihrcke pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first-degree reckless
homicide, as did Nathan Moore. Sentencing
is expected in late spring of 2005. Both face up to 60 years in prison. The third defendant, Luis Oyola, has an
upcoming hearing for a possible plea deal on a charge of first-degree
intentional homicide, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
Sources; Milwaukee Channel, “3 Milwaukee Teens Charged
With Beating, Killing Homeless Man,” 10/15/04; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel,
“3 teens charged in homeless man’s death,” 10/19/04; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“Death of Homeless Man Leaves Many in Bay View Shaken and Saddened,” 10/20/04;
Associated Press, “Teens charged in slaying of homeless man,” 10/21/04;
York City, New York
Homeless Man Critically Beaten
30: Jose Cantue, a 61-year-old
homeless man, was attacked after speaking to a woman passing by. Witnesses
said the woman’s companion became extremely upset and hit the homeless
man with a garbage can, despite the woman’s pleas for him to stop. The injured man was taken to St. Vincent’s
Hospital for treatment. He
died on November 11.No arrests have been made. The suspect, in his 20s, was with three
women at the time. Neither
the suspect nor the women have been identified. John Caserta, a friend
of Cantue’s, said, “He helped kids cross the street.
He gave them candy and toys.
He didn’t deserve what he got.”
Newsday, “Homeless man critical after attack,” 10/31/04;New
York Daily News, “Pushed Panhandler Dies,”11/12/04
River, New Jersey
Beat Three Homeless People in “Bum-Hunting” Attacks
Five Toms River High School seniors have been arrested for allegedly attacking
three local homeless people because they were “bored.” Frank Novak, 18, along with two 17-year-olds,
were charged with aggravated assault. Two other 17-year-olds were charged
with aggravated assault and criminal mischief.
most recent of the attacks occurred when 50-year-old homeless man Larry
Radomski reported being beaten with pipes and baseball bats as he slept
in the woods. The teens also
threw hockey pucks at him. He
suffered five broken ribs, a fractured arm, and a punctured lung. This
was the second assault against him by teens that day.
in October, the group allegedly threw bricks at a 42-year-old homeless
woman, who required hospitalization after being hit twice in the head
and suffered from facial lacerations.
June, a 44-year-old homeless man was attacked by a group of teens that
hit him with their hands and a golf club, causing injuries to his shoulders,
arms, and face. Local police chief Michael Mastronardy was reported as
saying, “‘Apparently they were actually searching people out who are homeless…merely
because of their stature in life.’”
teens later bragged about their so-called “bum-hunting” at school.
Newsday, “5 teens held in ‘bum hunting’ attacks on homeless,” 10/28/04;
International HomelessNess, “Beating of homeless stun most TR students,”
10/31/04; Asbury Park Press, “Homeless Man Injured Again,” 11/7/04;
Asbury Park Press “Adult trial sought in homeless assaults” 11/13/04;
Ocean County Observer “‘Bum Hunters’ could be tried as adults”
Gay Homeless Man Beaten, Stripped, Left
to Die in Dumpster
2: Matthew Ferman, 22, James
Trent Jr., 19, and Martin Baxter, 28, were arrested for the beating death
of Daniel Fetty, 39.
who had a hearing impairment and had recently lost his apartment in a
fire, was living out of his car and working as a dishwasher to save up
money for a new apartment.
was found naked and beaten in a dumpster. He died 12 hours later at Grant
Medical Center in Columbus. Ferman, Trent, and Baxter allegedly robbed
Fetty and beat him with boards and bricks before stuffing him into the
dumpster and leaving him for dead.
County Prosecutor Robert Junk called Fetty’s case one of the most gruesome
he has ever seen. He believes
that Fetty’s sexuality may have played a role in the attack.
was convicted on December 6th of involuntary manslaughter. He is expected to testify against Baxter
and Ferman. Baxter and Ferman, whose crime is now being called a hate
crime by Junk, are facing the death penalty with two charges of aggravated
murder, aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence, and abduction. Baxter’s trial is set to begin October
11th while Ferman’s will begin January 9, 2006.
NBC 4, “Homeless Man Found Beaten, Later Dies,” 10/4/04; Associated
Press, “Three men charged with murder in beating of homeless man,”
10/5/04; NBC 4, “Men Charged In Homeless Man’s Death Won’t Face Death
Penalty,” 10/15/04; Street Vibes, “Two men in Ohio have been indicted
in the beating death of a homeless man,” November 2004; WXIX, “Homeless
Man Killed,” 12/11/04; Chillicothe Gazette, “Baxter, Ferman arraigned
again,” 12/11/04; AkronBeacon Journal, New charges in homeless
slaying: Prosecutor says killing was hate crime because Ohio victim was
gay,”12/13/03 New York Blade, “Two face hate-crime charges in beating
death of homeless man,” 12/17/04; www.gaypeopleschronicles.com,
“Trial dates set in killing of waverly deaf gay man,”3/25/05
Group of Men Beat a Sleeping Homeless Man
23: According to a police report
from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, a group of men kicked and beat
a sleeping homeless man around 1 a.m. Damon Morgan, the victim, told deputies
the men stole his clothes, fifteen dollars, and a bicycle. Morgan’s left
eye was cut.
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “News
Man Beaten With Belt Buckles
November: A homeless male, believed
to be in his 60’s, was attacked and beaten by numerous assailants while
he slept. The four assailants crept up on the man in the middle of the
night and proceeded to whip him with a belt buckle. He sustained injuries
on his back, as he was able to cover his face and head.
Cynthia C. Contreras,Paralegal/Community Education Coordinator, Texas
RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. 5/31/05
Homeless Man Robbed at Gunpoint
November 1: A 37-year-old homeless man was robbed at gunpoint. The
man had accepted a ride to a pawnshop from the suspect, whom he had just
met. After leaving the pawnshop, at which the suspect’s transaction was
denied, he pointed a gun at the homeless man and tried to rob him. Upon
seeing that the homeless man had no money, the suspect allowed the man
to leave unharmed. The suspect was described as a 6” tall white male in
his 40s with brown hair and brown eyes, weighing about 215 pounds.
Fairfax County Police Department, 11/1/04
Homeless Man Critically Beaten
16: James Boyts, 52, was severely
beaten early in the morning by William Willis, 18, and Jeffery Carbonell,
19. Carbonell was charged
with aggravated battery, while Willis was charged with aggravated battery,
possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Boyts suffered severe facial injuries after he was hit and kicked several
times by Willis and Carbonell. Bleeding
heavily from head wounds, he was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Miami
where he was listed in critical condition. Before that attack, Boyts had previously been harassed and
had rocks thrown at him by two other men. Both Willis and Carbonell had
blood on their shoes when police accosted them.
The Miami Herald, “Teens charged with beating homeless man” 11/17/04;
West Citizen, “Homeless beating victim stable after surgery,” 11/18/04
Target Homeless Youth
17: At least seven female transgender
African American youths have reported being raped in Minneapolis in recent
months. Many of the victims
are homeless. Police have
made no arrests.
Source: Bath Holger, The Bridge, 11/17/04