A man is in critical but stable condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center after a puzzling attack by someone who it appears was a complete stranger to him.
Metro police said that at about 11:15 a.m. Monday, a man stole a John Deere Gator ATV from Belmont University. That man was spotted driving on a downtown street by Officer Tim Brewer, who was just leaving the courthouse downtown.
Brewer says the man on the ATV ran a red light while speeding. The officer called in on the radio, discovered the ATV was stolen, radioed for a marked unit, then continued to follow the ATV.
Brewer said he was shocked to see the man drive the ATV into East Park, where it appeared he deliberately ran over a man sitting in the grass.
The victim, Arvid Todd, 43, is believed to be homeless.
Brewer said he had never in his life seen anything like it.
"I believe he was trying to kill him. He ran over him at least twice. The victim looked like a rag doll, dragged under the vehicle, and the vehicle probably weighed 1,700 pounds," Brewer said.
As the driver was about to make another pass, Brewer said he drew his gun and threatened to shoot.
"If he hadn't seen me draw my weapon he would have continued to try to kill the man. I think he would have," Brewer said.
The suspect is identified as 21-year-old Kevin Beasley. Brewer said Beasley admitted to an officer he was trying to kill the man in the park, whom he admitted he didn't know. Beasley said he did it because "he was mad."
Beasley is in jail with bond set at $270,000.
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