Homeless veteran speaks out after being hit with baseball bats

Homeless veteran speaks out after being hit with baseball bats

COLUMBIA, Mo. - One man is in police custody and another is at large after police say the men beat a homeless veteran over the weekend.  

Hankel Jones was charged over the weekend with armed criminal action and robbery in reference to this assault. 

Charles "Chuck" Harris told ABC 17 News he was beaten with baseball bats, which caused his right arm to break, bruised his face and left him unconscious for an hour. 

Harris told ABC 17 News he refused to buy Jones more alcohol. That's when Harris said Jones and another man beat him. 

"I wouldn't buy him more alcohol anymore, so they (men) doubled-teamed me against that wall," Harris said. 

He told ABC 17 News he's lucky to be alive. Harris lives in a campsite on North 8th Street, right next to Jones' residence. Harris said he and Jones always had a good relationship but stated Jones has mental issues that cause him to act irrationally.

Two residents of the property in front of the campsite, next to Jones, said ever since Jones moved to the area there has been trouble.  

"After we moved in here, nobody was back there," Jim Wymore said. "When he (Jones) moved in there, it got worse ever since."

Wymore's fiance, Marty Everly, told ABC 17 News not only is Jones a problem but now, homeless people camp out right next to their home.

"I'll be doing dishes, looking out the window, and I'll see people go in and out," Everly said. 

Everly and Wymore said they haven't had any close calls or issues but occasionally will hear fights break out.

Within the past two years, Jones has been charged with theft and domestic assault. He was recently placed on two years' probation for the theft.  

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