Man attacked by teens in Henrico McDonald’s describes ordeal

Posted at 12:13 AM, Jan 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-10 00:13:11-05

With size 12-wide feet, James Franklin says he wouldn't wish on anyone to have to walk a mile in his old, raggedy shoes.

"People are patient, very lenient with me on the streets,” Franklin said.  “Everywhere I go, I try to find employment.  I don't know why people won't hire me. I guess it's because I’m homeless."

James is the homeless man CBS 6 news has been talking about for nearly two weeks: he was attacked while sleeping at a McDonalds near Glenside Drive and Broad Street.

"I looked up, went back and took a power nap,” Franklin said.  “About 30 or 40 minutes later, these guys hit me in the side of my face and I woke up."

"I never seen them before," he added.

The 40-year-old tried to grab the suspects, and even chased them out through the parking lot.

But it was surveillance photos from inside the restaurant that helped police the most.

Wednesday Henrico Police announced the arrest of 19-year-old Rashaan Bates, a linebacker for the Ferrum College football team and a 17-year-old, who sources tell us is a student at Highland Springs.

"I'm a hometown, country boy, man, don't bother nobody,” Franklin said.  “I mind my own business.

"Do you think these men were playing the knock-out game?” I asked.   “Possibly, possibly.  But that's for police to determine."

Franklin says he's not going to worry about the accused, and in fact, he says he forgives them.  "I just gotta’ make it,” he said. “I'm not trying to get rich or famous.   I just want to live."

Wearing a mechanics coat, sweat pants and a pair of shoes, Franklin says he plans on taking it one step at a time.

"Hopefully, this year will be progress for me,” he said.