Van Buren Man Recovering After Being Beaten Unconscious

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A Van Buren man police say was beaten unconscious and left in a pool of blood is recovering at a Fort Smith hospital.

Officers arrested Eric Hodnett, 24, on a first degree battery charge.

“He beat him and then carried him around and dropped him at my feet like a dead animal,” said Lisa Roberson, the victim’s mother.

A family member snapped bloody and bruised pictures of Dustin Kling, 24, at the hospital. “His face, his whole face is broke,” said Roberson.

Kling’s mom says she watched as Hodnett beat her son unconscious. Van Buren police say the alleged attack happened at apartments on Incline Drive around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.

“He wasn’t breathing when the ambulance got there,” said Roberson, “They had to bag him. It was just a bad thing and I’d hate to see any mother have to go through that.”

Family members say Hodnett and Kling grew up together.

Relatives say Hodnett got upset because his girlfriend may have been offended by a comment Kling made.

“People have really bad tempers these days, I guess,” said Kristan Kling, a cousin.

The family says Kling is doing better, but still has a long way to go.

Relatives plan to meet with a neurologist on Friday. They say Kling will eventually need reconstructive surgery.

“I don’t think any mother should have to go through, I think it was the ‘awfullest’ thing that I’ll ever experience,” said Roberson.

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