Six young adults have been charged with the stabbing to the death of a homeless man in Prince George’s County, Md.
The victim, 54-year-old Amos Milburn Jones, allegedly made a comment to a teenage girl in the group, which led to the fatal July 22 altercation, the Washington Post reported. Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened.
The victim’s grandmother told the Post that Jones was a harmless “prankster,” who for years had chosen to live on the streets with friends though he had other options.
Two of those arrested may have ties to a local gang Mara Salvatrucha, according to police spokesman Lt. William Alexander. All six young people were arrested eight hours after authorities found Jones dead near a Suitland Md. liquor store, the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, in Albuquerque, NM, three teenaged boys admitted to police that they attacked two homeless men who were found dead in an encampment on July 19, according to CNN.
The boys allegedly attacked the victims with cinder blocks, bricks, sticks, a metal pole, and various objects to the point where the victims were unidentifiable. They reportedly said that the men were not the only homeless people that they had assaulted. According to The Associated Press, the police are seeking information about the victims from the homeless community.
Violent crimes against the homeless are on the rise across the country according to a recent report by the National Coaltion for the Homeless (NCH).
In 2013, the report documented 109 attacks against homeless people by housed perpetrators, a 24 percent increase from the previous year. Eighteen percent of the attacks resulted in death according to the report “Vulnerable to Hate: A Survey of Hate Crimes and Violence Committed Against the Homeless in 2013.”
The NCH supports efforts to have crimes against the homeless included in the federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act. At a Congressional briefing in June, actress Susan Sarandon and other witnesses spoke in favor that measure.