Teens attack two homeless men with bats, rocks outside Wooster church

WOOSTER, Ohio-- The Wooster Police Department is working to identify  three teens who attacked two men sleeping on the steps of a church.

Officers were called to Trinity Church on East North Street just before 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

The victims said three teens, between the ages of 14 and 15, threw rocks at them, then took turns hitting them with bats. The men suffered cuts and scrapes. One was taken to the Wooster Community Hospital Emergency Room.

The men were sound asleep on the steps to get out of the elements.

“They’re both vulnerable, they have some disability, one guys a veteran,” said Pastor Franklin, who’s friends with the victims, “And they didn’t fight back at all."

Pastor Kevan Franklin says, every morning the church serves a free hot breakfast, where they also connect those in need with the proper resources and community services.

“The important thing is that people have a place where they feel that they’re welcome and accepted that’s really important for us,” said Pastor Franklin.

Officers searched the area for the suspects, but they were not located. Wooster police said the motive behind the assault is unknown.

"Over the past year, our department has increased patrols in that area and continues to do so," the department said in a news release on Friday.

”There was a trail of blood on the cement out there,” said Pastor Franklin, “It’s just incomprehensible that they would be that vicious and do those kinds of things.”

Pastor Franklin wants the suspects caught and entered into a diversion program, because he fears what they might do next.

“That’s exactly what I was most concerned about if they don’t catch them,” said Pastor Franklin, “The disregard for life.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the detective bureau at 330-287-5720. Anyone who needs housing or other assistance should speak with an officer or call the Salvation Army at 330-264-4704.

To contact the church visit www.trinityucc.org.

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