Attack on Homeless Individuals Sleeping on Public Square
An individual who asked that his name be withheld reported sleeping on the sidewalk just off of Public Square when he was attacked by a passerby who threw a brick at him. He needed to be hospitalized, and has stopped sleeping outside in a visible location. He now sleeps with a group of individuals for security.
On December 29, 2005, Don was sleeping on Public Square in front of 55 Public Square when he was attacked by two white individuals who were nicely dressed and in a Toyota sedan. He was inside a sleeping bag at 4 a.m. when the attack occurred, and could not defend himself except to cover his face. The two were using sticks and kicking him. One of the sticks actually broke after repeated hits. A BFI garbage collector broke up the attack, and called an ambulance. The attackers had broken his jaw and he had multiple bruises all over his body. He had to get five stitches on his face. There were no other witnesses to the attack, but the BFI garbage collector. Don has not stayed on Public Square since then. He intends to only sleep with larger groups from now on so he is not visible or alone. He did give a police report to an officer while in the hospital.
The Ft. Lauderdale beating made national news, but these attacks have grown sharply in the United States. They happen in Cleveland, and we are meeting with federal officials next week to get national legislation to study and also to stop these attacks. It is my opinion that those hate video tapes showing homeless people being beaten that were sold on the internet three years ago have led to de-humanizing homeless people and a dramatic increase in beatings and attacks.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.