Homeless Man Hospitalized After Savage Attack

Tyreese Hall
Tyreese Hall
Derek Edmonds
Derek Edmonds

By Jay Warren

(LOUISVILLE, April 7th, 2004, 6 p.m.) -- Two men are facing a number of charges after a homeless man was brutally attacked in downtown Louisville Tuesday morning. The victim remained hospitalized Wednesday. WAVE 3's Jay Warren reports.

Louisville Metro Police say 53-year-old Clifton Dale Agnew was sleeping in an alley behind the Salvation Army Center of Hope on Brook Street early Tuesday when 19-year-old Tyreese Hall and 40-year-old Derek Edmonds savagely attacked him, robbing him of his wallet.

According to the police report, Agnew was beaten with hands, feet, a trash can and crock pot while being told to hand over his money.

Agnew suffered severe head trauma, broken ribs, and a torn and lacerated anus, colon and rectum, Louisville Metro Police officer Gary Williamson wrote in his report.

The report says the two stripped Agnew of his clothing and sodomized him with sticks, boards and bottles, causing internal injuries. He was then stabbed repeatedly.

Agnew's injuries appeared so severe that investigators were preparing murder charges in case they needed to be filed. Hospital officials say Agnew is improving. He's now listed in serious condition.

Everett Prater says he knew Agnew by a nickname. "I called him Mr. Elvis. He did like to sing Elvis Presley songs."

Prater says Agnew was harmless. "The whole time I ever knew him, I've never known him to bother anybody," said Everett Prater, a friend of the victim. "He'd walk on by you, be mumbling to himself, but he wasn't bothering anybody. I guess you got a right to talk to yourself if you really want to."

Prater told WAVE 3 News he gave police a knife that he believes was used in the attack. "He threw it across from the Salvation Army and it hit the fence," Prater said. "A guy picked it up -- I got it off of him for two cigarettes and I gave it to them to check it out."

Brenda Mattingly, who became the center's director just two months ago," says more needs to be done to help the homeless. "That's the reason we need the Salvation Army and the other overnight shelters, because we want to protect the homeless people that are more vulnerable than other people."

Mattingly hopes the community shares the outrage she feels for senseless violence, no matter who the victim is. "We feel everybody here is an asset to our community and are worthwhile people. And we don't see a dividing line as to who should be protected and who shouldn't."

One man, Mike, who gave only his first name, said he helped Agnew from time to time, giving him "some pocket change because I know how tough it is out here, and yeah I helped try to help."

Hall and Edmonds are both charged with robbery, sodomy and attempted murder. They're being held at Metro Corrections on a $500,000 full cash bond.

Online Reporter: Jay Warren

Online Producer: Michael Dever