Police: Homeless man was murdered
'It looked like they were going for the head'
Friday, January 13, 2006; Posted: 12:07 p.m. EST (17:07 GMT)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) -- Police say they will seek murder charges against the attackers who beat a sleeping homeless man to death are suspected in two similar attacks in the city a few hours later.
The first attack was caught on a university surveillance video before dawn Thursday. Police were looking for two to four young men.
"It's senseless. If you look at these kids, it was almost like it was fun and games for them," Officer Scott Russell said.
Norris Gaynor, 45, who was later attacked as he slept near the Broward Center for Performing Arts, died from his injuries at a hospital Thursday, police said. The other victims, both hospitalized in serious condition, have not been identified.
The video from Florida Atlantic University shows two men chasing and beating a man who had been sleeping on a bench. "It looked like they were going for the head," Detective Katherine Collins said.
The 58-year-old man found a security guard, who called for help, and the victim was hospitalized with head trauma and defensive fractures, authorities said.
Gaynor was beaten about 90 minutes later in a chillingly similar attack. He had been sleeping on a secluded park bench near the performing arts center, police said.
Another 90 minutes after that, a third homeless man flagged down a fire crew passing a church and said he had been attacked while he slept.
According to the Washington-based National Coalition for the Homeless, 386 homeless people have been attacked nationwide since 1999, resulting in 156 deaths.
Four teenagers pleaded guilty last month to fatally beating a 53-year-old homeless man in Daytona Beach in May. They await sentencing next month. A fifth teen still faces still faces an aggravated battery charge and is free on bail.