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Dumpster diver charged with threatening property manager with knife

William Bays Walkden

By Joe Johnson

A homeless man was arrested this week for allegedly pulling a knife on the property manager for an apartment complex west of downtown Athens.

According to an Athens-Clarke County police, the manager was walking the grounds of Whistlebury Walk on Willow Street at about 3:50 p.m. Monday when he found 47-year-old William Bays Walkden rummaging through a dumpster.

When the property manager told Walkden to stop and leave the premises, the suspect reportedly became agitated and pulled a kitchen knife, telling the property manager, “Call the cops, I don’t care.”

Walkden became more enraged when the manager said to him, “Are you really going to pull a knife on me?” and as the suspect approached with the knife in a threatening manner, the property manager retreated to a safe place and called 911, according to the police report.

The suspect than ran off towards Hickory Street and an officer subsequently arrested Walkden at a homeless camp located in woods near the intersection of Willow and Hickory streets, according to the report.

Walkden admitted that he had been dumpster diving at Whistlebury Walk and that he found the knife in the trash container and already was holding it when confronted by the property manager, according to the report.

He denied arguing with the property official and said he immediately left when told to, according to the report.

An officer located the knife where Walkden dropped it near the path he took when leaving the property, according to the report.

The property manager positively identified Walkden as the suspect when an officer showed a picture he took of the man, the report noted.

As of Wednesday morning, Walken was being detained at the county jail without bail being set.

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