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William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sat, 07 Jul 2007 09:11:14 -0400


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http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=3D/20070707/NEWS03/707070=
344/1017/NEWS

Saturday, 07/07/07

3 teens charged in downtown beating spree
Homeless man, pedestrian hurt in July 4 attacks

By JENNIFER BROOKS
Staff Writer


Three Nashville teenagers are accused of beating and robbing at least =
three people during a vicious Fourth of July spree downtown.

Police say the three young men are believed to have cruised through town =
in a Chevrolet Suburban, jumping out periodically to assault passers-by =
- beating one victim, a 46-year-old homeless man, so severely that they =
broke his hip.

"The three alleged bullies preyed on the defenseless," department =
spokesman Don Aaron said in a statement about the attacks.

Joshua Binkley, 18, of Wesley Avenue; Kourtney Clark, 18, of Autumn =
Ridge Drive; and an unidentified 17-year-old were arrested later in the =
morning July 4 and charged with aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated =
assault and assault.

Police found a cell phone belonging to one of the victims, a man who was =
attacked and threatened with a metal pole while walking his dog at 2:30 =
a.m. on Grace Street. All of the known attacks took place within a short =
time: The homeless man was attacked and beaten in the 900 block of =
Jefferson Street around 2 a.m.; at 2:15 a.m., a 47-year-old man reported =
that three young men jumped out of a Suburban on 12th Avenue North and =
beat him for no apparent reason. He sustained a head injury.

Evidence found in SUV

Later Wednesday morning, officers from the East Precinct stopped the =
Suburban based on the description of the vehicle used in the attacks. A =
search of the vehicle turned up the cell phone.

Although only one of the victims was homeless, advocates for the =
homeless say these sorts of attacks happen with depressing frequency.

Last August, Tara Cole, a 32-year-old homeless woman, drowned when two =
young men allegedly found her asleep by the Cumberland River and rolled =
her into the water.

"It does happen more often than you'd think," said Cathie Buckner, a =
member of the leadership team at the Nashville Homeless Power Project. =
"For some people, because these people don't have money, because they =
don't have homes, they don't have value."

Vice mayor an advocate

Nashville vice mayor and mayoral candidate Howard Gentry Jr. experienced =
this firsthand during the June night he and three other mayoral =
candidates spent on the streets of Nashville to get a feel for how the =
city's homeless live. Gentry went into a restaurant to ask for food and =
found himself "physically picked up and escorted to the door."

"They feel the homeless are defenseless, voiceless, that they can do =
what they want to them without consequences," Gentry said. "The homeless =
community is a part of this community. They are entitled to the same =
compassion and assistance as anyone else."

This latest attack came as area advocates for the homeless were =
preparing a vigil next month to mark the anniversary of Cole's death.

Police are asking anyone with information about the July 4 attacks, or =
anyone else who may have been attacked and didn't report the crime, to =
contact Detective Robert Swisher at 615-862-7569.

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<P class=3Ddate><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
href=3D"http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=3D/20070707/NEWS0=
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<P class=3Ddate>Saturday, 07/07/07</P><!--ARTICLE HEADLINE-->
<H1>3 teens charged in downtown beating spree</H1><SPAN=20
class=3Dbodytext><B><I>Homeless man, pedestrian hurt in July 4=20
attacks</I></B><BR></SPAN><BR><SPAN class=3Dbyline>By JENNIFER=20
BROOKS<BR><I><I>Staff Writer</I></I><BR></SPAN><BR><!--ARTICLE BODY =
TEXT-->
<P class=3Dbodytext>Three Nashville teenagers are accused of beating and =
robbing=20
at least three people during a vicious Fourth of July spree =
downtown.</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>Police say the three young men are believed to have =
cruised=20
through town in a Chevrolet Suburban, jumping out periodically to =
assault=20
passers-by =97 beating one victim, a 46-year-old homeless man, so =
severely that=20
they broke his hip.</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>"The three alleged bullies preyed on the =
defenseless,"=20
department spokesman Don Aaron said in a statement about the =
attacks.</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>Joshua Binkley, 18, of Wesley Avenue; Kourtney =
Clark, 18, of=20
Autumn Ridge Drive; and an unidentified 17-year-old were arrested later =
in the=20
morning July 4 and charged with aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated =
assault=20
and assault.</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>Police found a cell phone belonging to one of the =
victims, a=20
man who was attacked and threatened with a metal pole while walking his =
dog at=20
2:30 a.m. on Grace Street. All of the known attacks took place within a =
short=20
time: The homeless man was attacked and beaten in the 900 block of =
Jefferson=20
Street around 2 a.m.; at 2:15 a.m., a 47-year-old man reported that =
three young=20
men jumped out of a Suburban on 12th Avenue North and beat him for no =
apparent=20
reason. He sustained a head injury.</P>
<P><B>Evidence found in SUV</B></P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>Later Wednesday morning, officers from the East =
Precinct=20
stopped the Suburban based on the description of the vehicle used in the =

attacks. A search of the vehicle turned up the cell phone.</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>Although only one of the victims was homeless, =
advocates for=20
the homeless say these sorts of attacks happen with depressing =
frequency.</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>Last August, Tara Cole, a 32-year-old homeless =
woman, drowned=20
when two young men allegedly found her asleep by the Cumberland River =
and rolled=20
her into the water.</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>"It does happen more often than you'd think," said =
Cathie=20
Buckner, a member of the leadership team at the Nashville Homeless Power =

Project. "For some people, because these people don't have money, =
because they=20
don't have homes, they don't have value."</P>
<P><B>Vice mayor an advocate</B></P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>Nashville vice mayor and mayoral candidate Howard =
Gentry Jr.=20
experienced this firsthand during the June night he and three other =
mayoral=20
candidates spent on the streets of Nashville to get a feel for how the =
city's=20
homeless live. Gentry went into a restaurant to ask for food and found =
himself=20
"physically picked up and escorted to the door."</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>"They feel the homeless are defenseless, voiceless, =
that they=20
can do what they want to them without consequences," Gentry said. "The =
homeless=20
community is a part of this community. They are entitled to the same =
compassion=20
and assistance as anyone else."</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>This latest attack came as area advocates for the =
homeless=20
were preparing a vigil next month to mark the anniversary of Cole's =
death.</P>
<P class=3Dbodytext>Police are asking anyone with information about the =
July 4=20
attacks, or anyone else who may have been attacked and didn't report the =
crime,=20
to contact Detective Robert Swisher at =
615-862-7569.</P></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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