A preliminary hearing will be held Thursday for a 21-year-old Whitesburg man charged in the brutal beating of a Whitesburg city employee last Wednesday outside of Walmart.
Ryan Adams, of 43 Michigan Avenue, was charged with first-degree assault at 6:59 p.m. on July 26, about an hour and 40 minutes after he allegedly attacked Whitesburg Waterworks employee Larry Hall so badly that Hall had to undergo surgery at Pikeville Medical Center.
In addition to undergoing “orbital eye surgery” to repair broken bones around his left eye, Hall, 54, also apparently suffered a heart attack as a result of the beating.
“At around 5:30 p.m. I was dispatched to Whitesburg Walmart for fight in progress,” Whitesburg Police Chief Tyrone Fields wrote in the arrest citation charging Adams with the Class B felony. “When I arrived I found Larry Hall on the sidewalk covered in blood. Larry’s left eye was swollen shut. Larry also had a large gash underneath his left eye socket. Larry stated that Adams had jumped him when he got out of his car at Walmart. A witness stated that Hall was trying to avoid Adams when he was attacked.”
Fields arrested Adams later that night after watching him enter his Michigan Avenue (formerly known as Cow Hollow) home. “I read (his) Miranda (rights) and interviewed him. He stated that he used his fist and his knees to fight Hall. He also had blood on his pants. Adams stated that he had been being harassed by Hall for the past few months for no apparent reason.”
In a later interview with The Mountain Eagle, Fields said he was able to determine that Hall apparently never the aggressor in any dispute he may have had with Adams.
According to Fields, the two men first became entwined when Hall was speaking to a relative who worked at McDonald’s restaurant in Whitesburg and Adams verbally accused the two of talking about him.
“Larry was at McDonald’s talking to his niece and Ryan said something to him,” said Fields. “Larry said, ‘I’m not even talking to you; mind your own business.’”
Fields went on to say that Adams had further encounters with Hall, and that Adams accused Hall of recently trying to hit Adams with a shovel outside the Ermine Double-Kwik.
Fields said that a witness at Walmart said that Hall exited his car at Walmart and said “hey” to Adams. The witness, a Walmart employee, said Adams then said “hit me, hit me,” to which Hall responded, “I’m not going to hit you.” The witness said Adams then attacked Hall from behind.
Fields said that at the time of his arrest, Adams denied knowing Hall, then said that Hall accused him of being a “dopehead” to management at the Whitesburg Dairy Queen, where Adams began working after leaving McDonald’s.
Fields also said that Adams began crying when he knew he was going to be arrested and said, “I know; can I smoke one more cigarette?”
Adams was still being held in the Letcher County Jail at press time Tuesday. His bond was set by Letcher District Judge Kevin Mullins at $10,000.