UPDATE: Man indicted for beating man on Red Clay Road - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Man indicted for beating man on Red Clay Road

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Photo provided by victim's family. Photo provided by victim's family.
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Bradley County Grand Jury indicted a man on aggravated assault charges in connection to a beating on Red Clay Road. 

READ MORE | Native American veteran brutally beaten in Red Clay State Park shares his story

Police say Christopher Hinds and two others brutally beat 60-year-old, James Russell at a house in Bradley County. 

Channel 3 first brought you this story last year in November. 

Hinds will appear in Bradley Sessions Court in late August. 

Joshua Finley and Stephanie Hinds are also charged in connection to the case. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Bradley County Sheriff's office has charged a man with aggravated assault for beating a man he mistook for someone else. Family members say 60-year-old James Russell was in critical condition and now has a long road to recovery. The family of the victim tells Channel 3, it was a hate crime but deputies aren't willing to call it that.

James Russell is still in the hospital recovering from a collapsed lung, several broken ribs, bumps and bruises. Deputies say Christopher Hinds followed him home Wednesday night, thinking Russell was responsible for a car accident involving a family member earlier that day. 

Russell told officers that Hines along with another man and woman said they were going to kill him then attacked. He stated Mr. Hinds approached him and slammed him several times. He also advised that the woman kicked him in the groin while Mr. Hinds held him down. 

Deputies found Russell in a choke hold, but family members say Russell was the one in handcuffs first,  made to take a breathalyzer test. When his name was cleared for the previous wreck, deputies charged Hinds with aggravated assault and the two others went home.

"What we told the victim and the family is that basically it was a simple assault and in the State of Tennessee, a misdemeanor or any arrestable misdemeanor has to happen in the presence of an officer," said spokesman James Bradford, Bradley County Sheriff's Dept. 

Deputies then advised the victim and his family of how they could file a court summons and do a self prosecution on their own. Russell made a statement, then went to the hospital by personal vehicle. He later told his grandson what happened. 

"The guy stuck his fingers into his nose and pulled back away from his face," said Byron Russell, victim's grandson. " It left a one inch tear on the left nostril. He pulled back his ponytail and they told him that they 'always wanted to know what it felt like to scalp an Indian.'" 

Byron Russell called Channel 3 for help. 

"This was a hate crime. What was said, they told him they wanted to scalp an Indian and they almost killed him," said Russell. " It was not aggravated assault." 

While deputies know about the claims from a third party, they say they never heard this side of the story on the scene. 

Reporter: "Was there not a follow up interview with the victim in the hospital? Bradford: "Not by us... The victim was talking to our deputies so we got his side, we never got any details from the victim or the family about those racial slurs when we was on  scene. The reason it's not being investigated as a hate crime, is like I said before those details were not told to the Sheriff's office." 

"If he left some things out of his story that's understandable because until now he hasn't been able to really talk at all hardly," said  Russell, " I mean that night he couldn't even breathe." 

After our interview, Channel 3 learned that Bradford called Byron Russell on the phone. He now says a deputy will meet with Russell and his grandfather for another statement and they will take the investigation from there.


PREVIOUS STORY: A man was charged with aggravated assault after officials said he beat a man he mistook for someone else.

It happened Wednesday night at Red Clay Park.

Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Bradford says deputies arrived at the scene to find Christopher K. Hines holding the victim in a headlock.

Bradford says this all began when Hines thought he spotted the driver of a truck who fled the scene of an accident Hines was involved in earlier in the day on Apison Pike.

Hines followed the victim, who family members identify as 60-year-old James Russell, to his home at Red Clay. That's where the situation turned physical.

Bradford says deputies were able to confirm that Russell was not the driver of the truck that caused the accident in Hamilton County.

The victim's grandson, Byron Russell, says his grandfather is currently in critical condition at Erlanger.

Hines was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and has since bonded out of jail.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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