GreeneStreets. Feature photo of a back country road in Greene County, Indiana. Courtesy of Nick Schneider.


One injured and another facing criminal charges after a fight possibly fueled by racial slur

 

One man is facing criminal charges of battery and intimidation following an alleged fight in Bloomfield this month. He’s accused of punching another man repeatedly and kneeing him in the face. The investigating deputy reported that two other individuals interviewed after the incident told him they believed the man, who is black, was upset because the victim, who is white, had called him a name, generally considered to be a racial slur.

William M. “Billy” Clark, 20, of Bloomington, has been summoned to appear in Greene Superior Court in July on preliminary charges of:

  • Battery resulting in bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor
  • Intimidation – threatening another person, placing them in fear of retaliation, a Class A misdemeanor
  • Criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor
  • Disorderly conduct – engaging in fighting or tumultuous conduct, a Class B misdemeanor

The incident occurred very early on Thursday, June 14.

Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachary Goad responded to meet with the alleged victim after an incident of battery was reported to the sheriff’s department around 2 a.m.

Deputy Goad reported the man, also a resident of Monroe County, had injuries to his face – one eye swollen shut, a swollen and bloody lip, bloody nose, redness and scratches on his face and swollen areas on his forehead.

According to Goad, the victim said Clark had asked him for a ride to a home in Greene County and he agreed, but after they arrived at the residence, he said Clark told him he was mad at him and wanted to punch him. Then while he was outside at his truck, but before he left the property, Clark did throw a punch at him. He said he tried to defend himself as Clark continued to punch him multiple times. He was not sure how many times he had been hit, but thought he had also been kneed in the face. The victim said other people who were at the house separated the two and he got in his truck and left but someone, he thought it was Clark, threw a rock and broke the windshield of his truck as he was leaving.

After talking to the victim, Goad spoke with a friend of the victim who had gone along on this trip and witnessed the incident. According to Goad, the friend said it occurred between 1:30 and 2 a.m. The friend basically confirmed the victim’s story and said he thought the victim was hit about 15 times and kneed in the head twice.

Both victim and friend also described some verbal threats, and they were able to explain how to get to the Greene County residence where the incident occurred, in the area of S. McDonald Drive in Bloomfield.

Assisted by GCSD Sgt. Bobby Pierce and Deputy Heather Wood, Goad went to the residence to speak with Clark.

When they arrived, Goad said a woman who lived there said Clark was there and the deputies could come inside, because Clark was on the couch and she and others who were at the house were not able to wake Clark up.

Goad reported Clark showed no visible signs of injury and was breathing but deputies could not wake him. An ambulance was called. Deputies spoke with several individuals at the residence who said Clark had been drinking earlier in the night.

When the Greene County Ambulance Service arrived, medical personnel were also unable to wake Clark and he was transported to IU Health Bloomington Hospital, unresponsive.

All of the others who were at the residence said they were not outside at the time when the fight started, but some saw the end of it and heard the verbal threats.

Both the victim’s friend and another person at the residence allegedly told Deputy Goad that they believed the reason the fight started was because Clark was upset with the victim and said the victim had called him a bad name – a word generally considered to be a racial slur.

Goad said starting the day after the incident, in the evening, he tried to make contact with Clark by phone and left messages for him, but as of late Monday, June 18, Clark had not contacted the officer.

The criminal case was filed against Clark on Tuesday, June 19.