Franklin Randolph was thought to be dead by the police officers who found him on Wednesday, lying on a fold out couch in the woods of his homeless camp near Kentucky Avenue and Congress Street in New Port Richey.
His body was beaten and bloody, covered in feces, urine and dirt. Flies and other insects blanketed him when he was found under a shade tree very near Kentucky Avenue.
Randolph, 54, was rushed by ambulance to Morton Plant North Bay Hospital where he was hooked up to a respirator and sedated.
He told police that three teenagers had come into his camp on Tuesday afternoon and brutally beat him. He said he was kicked, punched and spit on. He told officers that one of them grabbed a stick “large enough to swing like a baseball bat and struck him with it,” a New Port Richey police report states. One threw a concrete block and a bottle filled with urine at him.
The assailants left Randolph with cuts and bruises all over and a broken nose, said Detective Greg Williams.
Randolph was able to pick out 2 of the suspects from a photo pack. Anthony Fredrick Phillips, 15, of 6746 Old Main Street and Brandon Charles Youngman, 17, of 6422 Florida Avenue. Both are reported to be students at Gulf High School.
Officer Williams said that police encounter Youngman on a “constant basis”. He had reportedly threatened to kill the family of one officer and blow up the police station while being arrested last year.
Youngerman and Phillips were arrested on aggravated battery charges. Tony Phillips, Anthony’s father, said that Anthony was a mild-mannered teenager, who had recently taken up with a rough crowd. “It’s devastating,” he said on Friday. “You feel like you’ve failed somehow.”
Brandon’s father, Michael Youngerman claims that Brandon’s younger brother Allan, 16, was the one with Anthony that day. He said that Brandon was with him all day Tuesday helping to clean the house. His younger son, Allan, admitted on Friday night, that he was the one with Anthony that day and not Brandon.
Allan told his father that when he watched Anthony throwing sticks at Randolph he got scared and ran away.
“My question is,” he said, “why didn’t Allan do something? Why. I don’t know. He’s a very quiet kid.”
Youngerman told this version of the incident to the detectives about his sons. He expects his older son to be released from jail on Monday.
Why then, would Franklin Randolph tell police that 3 boys had beaten him – not one- before he died on Saturday?
Police Chief Kim Bogart said he is still working with presecutors to determine whether murder charges would be filed early Saturday afternoon. Bogart did not reply to messages asking for his reaction to Youngerman’s statements.
Franklin Randolph was listed in critical condition on Friday but died from his injuries on Saturday, four days after the beating. He leaves behind his sister Debra.