[at-l] beating of hikers

giniajim jplynch at crosslink.net
Mon Nov 8 11:26:01 CST 2010

Is anyone else disturbed that it wasn't reported to the police at the time it happened?  Did the victims ever say why they didn't report it?  

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Amy Forinash 
  To: AT-L 
  Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 9:41 AM
  Subject: Re: [at-l] beating of hikers

  I was in Damascus when it happened. It made quite an impression on the hikers who were in town. 

  Sent from my iPhone

  On Nov 8, 2010, at 9:05 AM, RockDancer <rockdancer97 at comcast.net> wrote:

  > This appeared on the web today, from Southwest Virginia Today. I didn't hear a peep about this all summer, anyone else hear about it? Must've talked to about 300 hikers this summer, but all in NH at the time. No conversation about it at the Gathering either. Seems to represent a different kind of violence on the trail... --RD
  > http://www.swvatoday.com/news/article/county_men_charged_in_beating/8434/
  > County men charged in beating
  > By Mark Sage
  > Published: November 4, 2010
  > Brothers Jamie and Zachary Gumm set out from Georgia on March 11.
  > The Appalachian Trail hikers wrote online about the wet and rain, the trail magic and the inspiring folks they met along the way. Jamie, 23, known as Double Dribble, and Zachary, 20, known as Zach Attack or Whisper, shared a tent and seemed to have been loving the adventure. Their last online entry was made April 27 in Boone, N.C.
  > Eleven days later, the pair would appear in Damascus in flesh and blood. They would be in the wrong place at the wrong time. On Creeper Trail trestle next to the town pool.
  > Police are now accusing Thomas Reedy, 21, of Damascus of shooting a cell phone video of his friends Randy Ray Blevins and Caleb Dean attacking the Gumm brothers on Saturday, May 8.
  > Damascus Police Chief Bill Nunley said the whole process, from planning to execution was captured on video.
  > “‘The plan is, we ride down the trail and the first hiker we see we knock them the f*** out,’ and then they laughed,” said Nunley.
  > The chief said the three hopped on their bikes and pedaled up the Creeper, where they found the Gumm brothers. Reedy manned the camera, according to Nunley, as Blevins and Dean beat the brothers.
  > “‘What’s wrong,’ you could hear the hikers say at first,” Nunley said. “Then you heard them screaming for their lives.”
  > The fight lasted a little more than 30 seconds. Then the three got back on their bikes and road away laughing, Nunley said.
  > Nunley said the Gumm brothers got up, packed up their belongings and left town that night. Jamie wore a bruised face and blackened eye. His brother had a busted nose and lip.
  > Nunley didn’t know anything about it.
  > “We’d heard a rumor that an assault had taken place, but we had no victim,” the chief said.
  > It would be another three months before police found anything that would confirm the rumor.
  > Damascus Police discovered the video, labeled “Hiker Bashing,” in Reedy’s cell phone during an unrelated Aug. 5 search of his home.
  > Damascus Police Lt. Kermit Turner said he ran down the Gumm brothers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. With their statements, the department finally had a case.
  > Reedy and Dean are each charged with two counts of malicious bodily injury, a class six felony that carries one to five years in prison and up to $2,500 fine for each count, and two counts of malicious wounding while being in a mob, a class three felony which carries five to 20 years in prison and up to $100,000 fine per charge. A Dec. 1 hearing date has been set. Police are searching for Blevins.
  > “We don’t want the tourist community to think that we’re going to overlook something like this,” Turner said. “We want the town to be as safe as it can be for anyone and everyone that lives here or visits.”
  > Nunley said in the two years he’s been chief, this is the first time something like this has happened.
  > “I felt it very disturbing to watch and hear two grown men begging for their lives,” Nunley said. “Enough to make the hair on your neck stand up.”
  > csullivan at wythenews.com | (276) 628-7101
  > Arthur Gaudet (RockDancer)
  > Rockdancer97 at comcast.net
  > "The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon."
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