News in Brief (02.18.2009)

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Homeless Man Beaten by Police 

A Fresno television station obtained a videotape of two Fresno police officers punching a partially restrained homeless man, 52-year-old Glen Beaty, as they arrested him.  

The incident took place February 9, before 10 o’clock on the corner of Bullard and Blackstone in northwest Fresno.  

The person who recorded the video said while he did not want to reveal his identity, he felt compelled to hand it over to KSEE 24 News in hopes of protecting those who cannot protect themselves.  

He told us, “They grabbed him (Beaty) and threw him to the ground. I just saw him being brutally beaten because he didn’t want to listen to them.” station officials said.  

The tape shows Beaty lying face down on the ground being hit at least 6 times in the face.  

The footage was shown to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, who immediately launched an internal investigation.  

Dyer said, “The individual was stiff. There was alcohol around him. It was very apparent that he had been drinking excessively and when the officers contacted the individual there was resistance in terms of the line of questioning. The individual refused to answer certain questions and at some point there was an altercation that occurred between the suspect and the officers. At one point, the officers, one of the officers was punched by the suspect in the arm. The officer had his badge ripped off of his shirt. “  

Chief Dyer’s account of the incident is based on the police report written by the two officers in question. 

The person recording the footage admitted to not being on the scene when the officers first approached Beaty, but challenged Dyer’s chain of events.  

Even though an ambulance was called and used to transport Beaty to the hospital, officers on the scene reportedly did not gather any witness statements.  

Obama Moved by Homeless Woman’s Story 

Fort Myers, Fla. — A woman’s hard-luck tale at a town hall meeting in Florida moved President Barack Obama to leave the stage.  

When Henrietta Hughes complained she’d been down on her luck and was living in her car with her son, Obama walked to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Hughes said she was out of work and homeless, with “a very small vehicle for my family and I to live in.”  

A White House press secretary said administration officials asked the local housing authority to contact her after the exchange in Fort Myers.  

Meanwhile, the wife of Florida state Rep. Nick Thompson offered to let the woman stay in a house she owns that’s vacant about 30 miles away. Chene Thompson isn’t sure if Hughes will take her up on the offer. Courtesy of the Associated Press. 

Homeless Man Found Dead 

Montgomery County, Md police are investigating the death of a homeless man whose body was found earlier this month in a wooded area in Rockville.  

Police say the body of 40-year-old Valentin Del Cid, was discovered on the morning of February 5, off Veirs Mill Road near Twinbrook Parkway.  

The preliminary investigation revealed no trauma to the body that would indicate foul play, police said. The exact cause and manner of death will be determined after an autopsy has been completed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore. Courtesy of the Montgomery County Police 

More Housing for Needy Veterans 

TUCKERTON, NJ – Bruce Jay Smith is a 55-year-old veteran who grew up in Camden.  

He moved around after he left the Air Force on disability 30 years ago, and today it’s hard to say where he lives, although lately he’s been parking his “home”, a 1977 RV, at a Batsto campsite.  

“It’s $2 a day, and that’s within my budget,” he said. “You can’t beat the price.”  

Thursday morning, Smith watched the groundbreaking ceremony for what he hopes will be his first permanent home in about three years , the Tucker’s Walk housing complex, which will be affordable housing for veterans and some low-income families.  

According to Community Quest subsidiary Home Quest, the Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County-based company building the project, the effort will meet a need of the area’s poor and homeless.  

It is one of several recent efforts to help the region’s homeless population, whose numbers have declined in recent years but are expected to increase as the economy falls.  

“We’re hearing from a lot of agencies that a lot more people are coming to them,” said Janel Winter, assistant director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, or CSH, a nonprofit organization that produces annual surveys of the homeless population.  

“I think with the financial climate, it is a lot different than it was last year.” – Courtesy of The Press of Atlantic City. 

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