“When people think of him being homeless,
With $20 loaned from a friend tucked in his new wallet, Billy Joe Begley headed off to get something to eat.
they think nobody cared about him"
He told his friend he would be staying with an aunt for a couple days, something he did when he needed a break from life on the street, or to get clean clothes or to shower.
Less than an hour later, the 49-year-old homeless man lay unresponsive in the street -- the victim of an apparent brutal beating in front of a public library. His wallet and the $20 were missing from his pocket.
He was pronounced dead Saturday night, with relatives surrounding his bedside while doctors unplugged life support. He never regained consciousness.
Family members are planning a memorial service. “When people think of him being homeless, they think nobody cared about him. He’s got family that cares and loves him. All of his friends loved him. He wouldn’t change. That was him,” said his cousin, Katie Ronnebaum.
‘Him’ meant a man with an alcohol addiction who shunned his family’s pleas to slow down his beer drinking and to get off the streets.
Read the Cincinnati Enquirer report here.
Update: The death of Billy Joe Begley is not being investigated as a homicide, police said. “At this point, there is no indication there was an assault that took place,” said Sgt. Joe Briede of Cincinnati Police Homicide Unit. Read the Cincinnati Enquirer report here.