Autistic man assaulted

Published 10:24 am Monday, August 15, 2016

AULANDER – An Aulander man continues to recover at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville after he was viciously assaulted at the Rice Avenue Recreation Complex here Aug. 2.

According to his sister, Janice Pillmon Ricks, 54-year-old Cornell Pillmon was playing a game of Dodgeball with friends and neighbors at the Complex before the assault occurred.

As Pillmon, who suffers from autism, was leaving the Complex after the game and headed home, he was approached by Rahjon Greene, Jr., 19, also of Aulander.

Rahjon Greene, Jr.

Rahjon Greene, Jr.

Ricks said from witness accounts she was able to gather, Pillmon and the teen exchanged words, an accusation was made, followed by a physical altercation. During the fracas, Pillmon was reportedly kicked and beaten about his body and face, and he also suffered multiple bruises and contusions to his side and back.

However, Pillmon’s face suffered the worst of the attack. He was transported to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie for treatment of his injuries and later transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where he underwent surgery on Friday, Aug. 5, for two fractures to his jaw and three fractures to his eye socket.

Greene was originally charged with misdemeanor assault and appeared before Bertie County Magistrate Willie Davis.

“However, once we learned of the seriousness of Pillmon’s injuries, the charges were upgraded,” said Bertie County Sheriff John Holley.

On Aug. 4, Greene was re-arrested by Bertie County deputies and charged with criminal felonious assault on a handicapped person.

Greene’s bond was originally set at $30,000, but after he made his first appearance in Bertie County District Court on Wednesday (Aug. 10) it was reduced to $7,000 secured. His court date has been set for Sept. 28.

Greene had not posted bond as of late Friday and remains incarcerated in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail.

“Everybody is just outraged over this incident,” Pillmon told the News-Herald. “I’m starting a letter-writing campaign, and I’m encouraging as many citizens as will to write to the (Sixth) District Attorney (Valerie Asbell) to protest.”

Pillmon went on to say, “My brother’s mouth is wired shut, and will have to be so for the next six weeks. He still has to see an ophthalmologist because of his vision problems due to his eye injuries, and more surgery is scheduled on his bottom jaw because he has major injuries to his teeth.”

Ricks says she is angry and upset that other bystanders nearby when the incident occurred, including some who had been playing Dodgeball with her brother, did not break up the altercation, or attempt to render aid afterward. One person, whom she claims is a relative of Greene’s, was on the scene but refused to get involved because – according to Ricks – “he said he had nothing to do with it”.

Greene is believed to have been involved in other prior assault cases, including one attack on part-time Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Balmer. The results of these cases are unknown.