The brutal beating of Teddy Cook still weighs heavily on his co-workers at Supersuds Car Wash and Laundry in Clarksville.
“He wanted to live his life like Christ would want him to live his life,” coworker Nancy Danner-Monday remembered of her friend.
Surveillance images from the night of May 30 show three kids enter the business.
One teenager is seen threatening Cook with a gun. As the 71-year-old appears to make an attempt at grabbing the weapon away from the teen, he falls to the ground and is viciously attacked.
“It’s hard to realize that something like this would happen in a place that you work. You would never think that would happen,” Danner-Monday said. “It made you feel violated.”
Two of Cook’s accused attackers were 14-years-old, while a third was just 13.
“When you walk by, you see two or three kids walking, and you wonder, what are they thinking about? What are they planning to do?” Danner-Monday said.
Despite the heinous attack, statistics show the number of crimes involving children that young are significantly down across Clarksville.
News 2 obtained documents from the city’s police department showing the number of juveniles 15 and younger believed to be involved in alleged crimes since the start of 2016.
The numbers from Jan. 1 through Sept. 9 show very little change in reported incidents from 2016 to 2017 with a drastic drop from 2017 to 2018.
Reported Incidents – 15 years and younger
Jan. 1 through Sept. 9
- 2016: 483
- 2017: 492
- 2018: 351
Not all of those reports involve a child being charged though, so News 2 got a look at those numbers, as well.
They show an increase in children 15 and younger being charged from 2016 to 2017 with a major decrease from 2017 to 2018.
Charged – 15 years and younger
Jan. 1 through Sept. 9
- 2016: 169
- 2017: 212
- 2018: 119
“The majority of those are non-violent offenses,” Chief Alonzo Ansley of the Clarksville Police Department told News 2.
The chief said those were mostly misdemeanors, charges like shoplifting and trespassing.
“Shoplifting is a misdemeanor and we do have quite a bit of shoplifting that’s involving underage perpetrators,” Chief Ansley said.
The chief explained crimes like assault, robbery and burglary show up as well, but he said those are the exception, not the rule.
“It makes me feel good that the numbers when I look at them are actually down this year,” Chief Ansley said. “We’ve actually gotten past the worst part of the year, which is the summer months. That is the worst part of the year when you’re talking about juvenile crimes because they’re out of school.”
Community policing is one method that the chief explained the city has used to combat juvenile crime.
The downward trend of youth crime is one the chief said he expects will continue.
“Kid Crime Wave” airs all day Thursday in every newscast. Click here to view more stories.
News 2 is tracking crime where you live with CrimeTracker reports. Click here for more coverage.