Warren man ‘left for dead’ after beating Yokena resident was working on Woodrow Wilson

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Vicksburg man beaten unconscious Sunday afternoon while working in Jackson remained in serious condition this morning at University Medical Center in Jackson, hospital spokesman Peggy Wagner said.

Fred Jackson, 62, 627 Wright Road, suffered severe head injuries in the attack that left him in a coma, said his daughter, Sheila Hedrick, who lives next door to her father.

“He has several skull fractures, severe head trauma and his face is basically shattered,” Hedrick said. “He was robbed, beaten and left for dead.”

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Hedrick said doctors had inserted a tube to assist her father’s breathing, and that he had not regained consciousness.

“We are begging anyone with information to come forward and talk to the police,” Hedrick said this morning.

The attack occurred Sunday afternoon while Jackson was kneeling down to weld a gate at Tri-Miss Services, a salvage yard at 416 Woodrow Wilson Drive, said Officer Colendula Green, Jackson police spokesman.

“The (surveillance) video shows two unknown black males entered the yard and came up behind him,” Green said Monday. Jackson “was struck several times with a blunt object.”

Green said today the investigation is continuing and no further information or description of the suspects could be released.

The manager of Tri-Miss was not available and did not return calls.

Hedrick said her father’s wallet and cell phone were taken, but the police report states the attack is being investigated as an aggravated assault, said Green, adding that additional charges could be filed later.

“The victim is still unconscious and the investigators have not had a chance to talk with him,” Green said.

The time of the attack is not clearly indicated on the report, but the video shows it to be daytime, she said.

Jackson has lived in Vicksburg since he was a child, said Hedrick. He works fulltime as a welder for Novelty Machine Works in the capital city and took the Tri-Miss assignment as a side job, she said.

He called his fiancee around 8 a.m. and told her another man was at the junkyard who wanted to stay and help, and he told him no. “The guy got mad and left because he said the boss was letting my dad get more hours than him,” she said.

Hedrick said a family friend called her father on his cell phone around 12:25 p.m., and he told the friend that a silver car with three men inside had been circling the junk yard.

He was found unconscious at the site around 2:30 p.m. by another employee arriving for work, she said.

Jackson’s wallet contained $500 from a job he’d just completed and a payroll check he planned to deposit Monday, Hedrick said.

“We truly believe it was not just a robbery, because of the way he was beaten so bad,” she said. “And they took his cell phone so he couldn’t even try to get help. The way he got beaten, it looks like revenge.”

Karla Phillips, another employee of Novelty Machine Works, said this morning that payment has been stopped on the payroll check.

She said Jackson has been employed by the company at 3120 U.S. 80 West for “more than 20 years.”

She described him as “a good man, a hard-working man.”