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Head of Athens nonprofit arrested for allegedly assaulting employee of county homeless encampment

Charles Hardy Jr.

By Joe Johnson

The head of an Athens nonprofit was recently arrested for allegedly assaulting an employee of his organization four months ago.

Charles Hardy Jr., 49, of Bethlehem, was arrested Monday on a warrant charging him with battery.

The alleged victim worked as a security guard at the 1st Step county-sanctioned homeless encampment that Hardy’s group, Athens Alliance Coalition, operates on Barber Street, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

The program works with Advantage Behavioral Health Systems to find long-term housing for homeless people.

According to the police report, the alleged incident happened on Oct. 30 at the Winterville home of the mother of the 37-year-old employee.

The employee said that she went to her mother’s place on Fieldstone Trail to get a plate of food, and that when she arrived, Hardy was there talking to the woman about her daughter’s work ethic and “all the trouble she makes”, according to the report.

When the woman was leaving with her plate of food, Hardy allegedly followed, knocked the plate from her hand and pushed her, according to the police report.

The woman said that when she pushed back, Hardy punched her in the face and then left, admonishing that “Tomorrow morning when you come to work, I want you to turn your badge in, bitch,” the report noted.

A responding police officer saw that the employee’s lip was beginning to swell, and he noted in the report that she declined EMS.

After an investigation, police took out a warrant charging Hardy with battery.

Following his arrest on Monday, Hardy was released from custody upon posting a $2,500 bond.

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