By Joe Johnson
A homeless man was attacked Wednesday morning as he tried to escape from his tent that had been set on fire, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.
Another homeless man, identified by police as 38-year-old Timothy Jerry Eubanks, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and first-degree arson.
Police learned of the incident at about 3:45 a.m., when an officer on routine patrol was flagged down by a woman who said her neighbor at a homeless camp off North Avenue had been attacked by a man she knew as “Krash,” who also set fire to the victim’s tent, according to the report.
A police communications officer ran the suspect’s nickname through a database, and it returned as belonging to Eubanks, according to the report.
When an officer met with the 52-year-old victim, the man was covered in blood from lacerations to his head and ear, the report noted.
The victim explained he was asleep when he woke up because he felt something hot inside his tent, and “while he was trying to get out of the tent he was getting hit by a blunt object,” according to the police report.
When he got out the victim reportedly saw "Krash" outside of his tent, at which time the suspect ran into the woods.
After the victim was transported to the hospital for treatment, the officer returned to the homeless camp on a report that Eubanks had returned. Police said he was found under a blanket.
Eubanks told the officer that someone else had set the victim’s tent on fire and that when he grabbed a blanket to extinguish the flames, everyone started to scream at him, at which time he left.
He was arrested and taken to the county jail, where the state Department placed a hold on his release.
According to the DOC, Eubanks has served tree prison terms for convictions on drug, theft and other offenses, and he completed his most recent sentence in November.