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Homeless man pleads not guilty to attempted murder

Dawson, 33, allegedly hit man over head with hatchet handle
By Jack Heffernan

The Daily Astorian

Published on August 17, 2018 4:03PM

Last changed on August 17, 2018 4:57PM

Ryan Joseph Dawson

Ryan Joseph Dawson

A man who was living in a Warrenton homeless camp pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he tried to murder another man at the camp with a hatchet.

Warrenton police responded to the camp near the woods behind Goodwill at about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 8. Ernest Charles Bean Jr. had been struck in the head with the hatchet handle and needed medical attention.

Bean, sitting in his tent and holding a blanket against the left side of his head, told police that Ryan Joseph Dawson, 33, had struck him after screaming about his girlfriend, according to court documents.

After medical personnel arrived to tend to Bean, police searched the wooded area. About 30 minutes later, the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office Parole and Probation Division told the officers that Dawson was at the office.

Police questioned Dawson, who claimed he did not know about the incident with Bean. He was charged with first-degree assault, along with parole violations stemming from resisting arrest, menacing and harassment convictions in March.

An indictment filed Tuesday charges Dawson with attempted murder and first-degree assault.

Dawson is being held without bail for the alleged probation violations. He is scheduled for an early resolution conference later this month.


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