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Community reacts to beating of homeless man

Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 11:53:14-04

Police say a homeless man was attacked by a group of 8 to 10 teens outside the Dollar Tree on Golden State Highway Wednesday night.

Witnesses say the teens attacked the man with scooters and hit him in the head, knocking him to the ground.

The man was taken to a local hospital with injuries and the teens fled the scene.

The investigation is ongoing but police are not actively looking for the suspects.

Christopher Morrow, a case manager at The Mission at Kern County, use to be homeless and talked about his experiences sleeping in hospital waiting areas to avoid sleeping outside.

"I tried to not actually sleep on the street or on the sidewalks because I know that when you go to sleep you become really vulnerable."

He said as a case manager, he is trying to prevent situations like Wednesday night's from happening.

"I see them literally passed out and unconscious to where I've walked up and I've even shook'em and they don't wake up and they've had their belongings around them," said Morrow.

"So you become a really easy target."

As for the teens targeting the man, Carlos Baldovinos, the executive director at The Mission at Kern County, says the time of the school year probably had a factor.

"I think with spring break, there's not a whole lot of things to do for kids. They're trying to find something to do. A lot of these kids do this for game to hurt an innocent person that is defenseless."

But he says the situation is concerning.

"They (homeless people) also have rights too," said Baldovinos.

"It is not a crime to be homeless. So for people to criminalize them and to hurt them is unspeakable and it's horrible."