Timothy English: Assault charge for panhandler who clubbed man over "f*cking change"

Update below: Timothy English was arrested on suspicion of assault in an incident that smacks of class warfare. He allegedly asked a man for change, and after being rejected, he reached into his guitar case and pulled out not an ax, but a club, which he used to hit his target over the head. But there's more to the story than that. Much more.

According to English's arrest affidavit, on view below, William Loomis, the man targeted by English's weapon, told cops he was walking near the Boulder Theater on Sunday night when English asked him, "Do you have any change?"

"No, there is no fucking change," Loomis answered.

English apparently didn't like Loomis's tone, and responded in kind. "Fuck you, you're a privileged motherfucker," he announced.

Why would English jump to this conclusion? Maybe because Loomis was wearing a teal polo shirt and was described by one witness as looking "preppy." But Loomis didn't accept this stereotype. "Bullshit," he told English. "I grew up on these streets, you motherfucker."

At that point, Loomis says he walked away but English followed him. He reacted by facing the panhandler and yelling, "Why don't you get a fucking job?"

"Are you going to give me a job?" English wanted to know.

"No," Loomis replied. "You'd have to take a fucking shower."

That's the point at which Loomis says English reached into his guitar case and pulled out what police describe as a three-feet-long, two-inch-wide, carved stick that he brought down on Loomis's noggin. The blow knocked Loomis to the ground near the Lazy Dog Sports Bar, but he got back up and chased after English. He caught up to him near 13th and Canyon, which is where police found them.

When questioned, English said that after turning down his change request, Loomis approached him "for no reason" and yelled, "Fuck you, you homeless piece of shit" before taking swings at him. After that, English admitted that he "might have" zapped Loomis with his stick.

Just as interesting, though, are accounts from other witnesses. A street performer who'd been writing poetry nearby said he watched Loomis leave English and then come back to him three times or so, suggesting that he hadn't felt threatened. And another person on the scene said that in the beginning, English actually tried to get away from the confrontation, saying, "Leave me alone, leave me alone" -- but Loomis followed him.

A hearing is scheduled for today.

Update, 9:18 a.m. August 11: Witness statements suggesting that Timothy English may not have instigated the incident in which he allegedly whacked William Loomis over the head with a stick pulled from his guitar case didn't prevent him from being criminally charged.

The Boulder District Attorney's Office confirms that English has been charged with assault 2, a class-4 felony. He's due back in court for a preliminary hearing on September 1.

Look below to see a larger version of English's booking photo, as well as the aforementioned arrest affidavit.

Timothy English Arrest Affidavit

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Peter Spitz, blinded by wife who had more access to their son than he did, regains custody."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts