By Allen Edmonds
A 32-year-old homeless man, who was found hiding among the fuel storage tanks near Snead’s Barbecue west of Belton, is being held in the Cass County Jail on $25,000 bond following a Friday afternoon assault outside the restaurant.
According to a Cass County Sheriff’s Office probable cause statement detailing the first-degree assault charge, Deric C. Wedlock approached the restaurant’s night manager in the parking log as he arrived for work at 4 p.m. Friday, and asked to use his cell phone.
The victim, who was hospitalized for multiple facial fractures and abrasions to his face, hands and arms as a result of the incident, told officers that after failing to make contact with anyone after making two calls, Wedlock returned the phone and the victim went inside the restaurant.
The victim told officers he returned to the parking lot 15 minutes later to see if the man was still there. He saw that he was, and the suspect asked the victim to use his phone again, the victim told deputies, the suspect began punching him the face repeatedly, trying to take his car keys and phone, ripping the victim’s pants in the process.
The victim told deputies the suspect ran when he could not get the keys or phone.
Emergency personnel were called to the scene at 4:34 p.m. Friday. Deputies arrived at 4:44 p.m., to find the victim covered with blood and being treated by Belton Emergency Services medics.
At around 5:09 p.m. Saturday, a man matching the description of the suspect was located hiding among the fuel storage tanks located near the convenience store just east of the restaurant.
He immediately told the arresting deputy that “if he had taken his medication, nothing like this would have happened,” according to the affidavit.
At the Cass County Jail, Wedlock told deputies that he had failed to take medication for his “mental issues” for several days.
Wedlock made an initial appearance before Associate Circuit Judge Mike Rumley on Monday. He is set to appear again for a bond hearing at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23.
Wedlock was free on signature bonds in two separate possession controlled substance cases from Jackson County Circuit Court. One is connected to an arrest in April 2018 in the 100 block of East 96th Street in Kansas City when officers found him stumbling through a yard with a knife in his hand. Offices found what they believed to be PCP and methamphetamine, as well as a bag containing several Alprazolam pills.
In the other case, Kansas City police found him wearing a bullet proof vest, standing on the top level of a parking garage looking over the edge in the 9000 block of State Line Road in June 2018.
Officers believed he was under the influence of PCP and had a bottle of the substance in his possession upon his arrest.
Both cases were still pending in Jackson County Circuit Court when he was arrested Friday.