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Man beaten, robbed on city canal path


Fredericksburg police are investigating a reported robbery on the canal path during which the victim was knocked unconscious for an undetermined amount of time.

A 44-year-old homeless man told police that he was walking near Cossey Pond about 5:30 p.m. Monday when he encountered two men and a teenage girl near the pump station, city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.

The man said he walked past the group after exchanging some friendly words, then was struck in the back of the head by a blunt object, knocking him out.

When he woke up hours later, his money was missing, his iPhone 5 was shattered and the food he’d purchased at Hardee’s shortly before the attack was all over him.

The victim eventually walked back to an undetermined location on Princess Anne Street, where someone called a cab that took him to the emergency room at Mary Washington Hospital about 5 a.m. Tuesday to be treated for a concussion, two lacerations to the head and multiple abrasions.

Police met the victim at the hospital and got information about the robbery.

The man was carrying between $100 and $800, depending on the varying versions he told police.

The suspects were described as two white males in their 40s or 50s with scruffy beards, graying hair and wearing faded, dirty jeans. One was wearing a flannel shirt, and the victim said both “appeared homeless.”

The female with them was described as white, about 16 years old with blonde jaw-length hair in a blunt cut. She had piercings in her nose and eyebrow and a tattoo in a braided design on one wrist.

The victim also described seeing a white Toyota Corolla hatchback parked on the gravel near the pump station during the incident, but it is unclear who the car belonged to, or if it was involved in the incident.

There have been several recent incidents along the canal path in recent weeks, including one on Nov. 6 in which a 72-year-old man was beaten during an attempted robbery. An arrest was later made in that case.

Bledsoe said city police have stepped up patrols along the canal path with both uniformed and plainclothes officers, and will continue to do so.

Anyone with information about the most recent incident is asked to call Detective Wayne Hunnicutt at 540/654-5753.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404