By John W. GOODWIN JR.
A witness to the beating and stoning of a homeless man on the city’s South Side said the juveniles accused of committing the act have been a menace to the neighborhood.
A 36-year-old Sherwood Avenue woman, who did not want to be identifiedw, said she came out of her home as she normally does to watch for her son, who was expected to be getting off the school bus just after 4 p.m. Thursday. What she saw from her porch was anything but normal.
The woman said a group of boys ranging in age from 9 to 14 were taunting and beating a homeless man who is known to live in and around the neighborhood.
“I went on the porch, and that’s when I saw that they were throwing rocks, kicking him and just picking on him,” the woman said. “He [the victim] doesn’t bother the neighborhood kids or anything. He sometimes does dances for the kids and things like that. I just don’t understand why they would do that.”
The woman said the 58-year-old homeless man often sleeps in an empty house that once was occupied by his mother. She said neighbors supply the man with food and try to look out for his general welfare.
Officers found the man sitting on the ground near a tree on Volney Road. There were no signs of injury to the man, but he was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center for observation and was released a short time later. He has not been seen back in the neighborhood since the attack by the juveniles, the witness said.
Police spoke to two of the juveniles, who admitted being present when two other juveniles beat the man.
The witness to the beating said the juveniles responsible live in a home on West LaClede Avenue and a home on Canfield Road.
She said it is not the first time the group of boys has caused trouble in the neighborhood. She said they have even threatened her children in the past.
“This is just ridiculous,” she said. “It’s a lot; it’s like they are a menace to the neighborhood, and something needs to be done.”
A man answering the phone at one of the homes where the boys are said to live said the family has no comment on the beating or the allegations of misdeeds. in the neighborhood.