MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A homeless man is almost attacked with his own machete. It’s the latest incident involving homeless on homeless crimes, and the third machete attack in Murfreesboro within the past 10 months.
Police have cracked down on the violence, but homeless advocates said as long as these people are forced to live on the streets, these type problems will continue.
George Brewer, 43, takes pride in his home in the woods that he calls George’s Jungle.
“[The] simple life,” Brewer said. “I’ve been out here 24 years.”
Thursday he and his girlfriend Brenda Baker were asleep in his tent and got a rude awakening.
“When he came in here, I told him to get off my compound, and he came over here and grabbed my machete and started swinging it,” Brewer said. “I said, ‘Dude, what are you trying to do? Kill me? Stop.”
Brewer told police a homeless man named Chad Jones tried to attack him.
He said he fell backwards to keep the machete from striking him in the head, so he grabbed his hook blade to protect himself.
“I’m just using self-defense because dude got my blade,” Brewer said.
The suspect was able to get away before police arrived, but police later arrested the man who was with him, Skyler Fragoso, who goes by the name Blue.
Fragoso was charged with resisting arrest and criminal impersonation.
This makes the third machete attack at a homeless camp in Murfreesboro.
“Scared,” Baker said. “Afraid something is going to happen, but there is really nothing I can’t do anything about it. I got nowhere to go.”
Earlier this month, Christopher Lindsay was arrested after he allegedly started swinging a machete, striking a woman’s tent under the Church Street Bridge, coming inches from her face.
Lindsay was apparently upset that the woman refused to go friend’s house because she thought they were trying to get her drunk and get her into bed, according to a police report.
The other incident happened in May of last year. Elton Richardson was arrested after he allegedly attacked another homeless man with a machete when a fight broke out outside a storage unit.
Homeless advocates say the homeless in Murfreesboro will remain homeless, living under bridges and in the woods, because there is a lack of affordable housing.
“Most of these problems can be solved by having enough affordable housing to go around, and there is just not,” said Jason Bennett, Murfreesboro Homeless Patrol Executive Director.
Brewer is hoping his attacker won’t return.
“I just want people to leave me alone, let me live back here, and let me live in peace back here,” a tearful Brewer said. “I’m homeless, I ain’t got nothing; nobody wants me. So, I got Jesus and my compound.”
Police said they take these types of attacks at homeless camps seriously.
“The MPD investigates crimes against homeless and between homeless and we have been very successful at prosecuting offenders in recent crimes against and between homeless,” Murfreesboro police spokesman Sergeant Kyle Evans said in an email statement. “This is often challenging due to lack of permanent residence, drug and alcohol issues, and mental illness that many homeless suffer from.”
When arrested, Chad Jones will face aggravated assault and vandalism charges for slashing Brewer’s tent with the machete.