Local Athens artist Michael Davenport was assaulted by a man who hit him on the head with a bottle on Lumpkin Street on June 23.
Davenport, the armless artist known for his University of Georgia-themed sketches that are drawn with markers held in his mouth, was working on a drawing when he was attacked. The suspect fled the scene.
Barry Joiner, a witness to the assault, said he was having lunch at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop with his family during the incident.
Joiner, who began attending UGA in 1986, remembers seeing Davenport “work on his paintings” during his time as a student. Joiner was visiting his daughter, who is a student at UGA, during the AthFest Music and Arts Festival when he saw a “suspicious” man dressed in all black standing near Davenport.
“The guy looked around and he kinda started to make me nervous,” Joiner said. “He then pulled a bandana over his face.”
Joiner thought the man might pull a gun out. Instead, the suspect pulled out a green bottle from behind his back and walked up behind Davenport, before hitting him in the back of the head, Joiner said.
“The bottle shattered. Mr. Davenport turned around and fell face down on the concrete,” Joiner said. “Pretty clear he was knocked out at that point.”
When the suspect fled the scene, Joiner and another witness chased the man up to Broad Street, where they lost sight of him. Joiner’s wife called 911 and officers arrived at the scene at 11:25 a.m., according to an ACCPD report.
On July 3, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department arrested the suspect, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. Darian Lorenzo Kenney, 29, was charged with aggravated assault.
This isn’t the first time Davenport has been the victim of a crime. According to a 2015 article in The Red & Black, Davenport was robbed of his art supplies in 2015.
“Hopefully he’ll be back downtown soon doing his thing,” Joiner said.