Brutal beating has Nixon Street neighbors looking for clues

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS  (WLOX) - Neighbors on Nixon Street in Biloxi have launched a crime fighting campaign. They're determined to help police solve a brutal assault that's left a friend in critical condition.

Ronald Eugene McClelland, 54, was robbed and then beaten so badly his face was unrecognizable. This past Thursday evening, police responding to a 911 call found the man lying beside his car at Nixon and Roy Streets.

Two leaders of the Nixon Street Association are walking the neighborhood, looking for information.

"Hey baby, how are you?" said Jackie Washington, as she approached a driver at Nixon and Roy Streets.

"Gene was beat up. Did you know about it, hear about it?"

"Who?" said the driver.

"Ronald Eugene McClelland.  Lives down here on Nixon Street," said Washington.

Jackie Washington and Anita Averhart are spreading the word.  They want the person or persons who brutally attacked Ronald Eugene McClelland brought to justice.

"Actually, it makes you fearful. This was once a great neighborhood to live in. I grew up here. Ronald Eugene is my first cousin. And we have family and friends here," said Washington.

Anita Averhart also grew up on Nixon Street. Her mother still lives just down the street from where the victim was found.

"We're just asking everybody, if they know any information, to call the police department. 'Cause we want this crime solved," she told a pedestrian in the area.

The neighborhood association printed fliers which the women are passing out around the area. They are determined to help find those responsible for the violent crime.

"He was so nice. Eugene would give you anything. He would give you anything, yes he would.  And everybody knows, he would give you anything. And so it seems like it always happens to the nice people, you know," said Averhart.

Although the victim was found beaten outside his car at the intersection of Nixon and Roy Streets, investigators say they have evidence which suggests the assault may have happened elsewhere and the victim then drove himself to that location.

"We weren't able to really get any good information due to his medical condition, from him. As of yet we haven't been able to find anyone that can clue us in as to where all this started and how it got to this point," said Biloxi investigator, Captain Darrin Peterson.

Two Nixon Street neighbors are doing their part to try and round up clues.

"We just want somebody to report, if they saw anything. We don't know what difference a small incident may make in solving this horrendous crime," said Washington.

Anyone with information about the crime should contact the Biloxi Police Department criminal investigation unit at (228) 435-6112.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.