GBI arrests two suspects after Tattnall County man severely beaten

GBI arrests two suspects after Tattnall County man severely beaten

TATTNALL COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has arrested two suspects after a man was severely beaten in Tattnall County.

According to the GBI, 19-year-old Elijah Harston King and 35-year-old Reece Steven Cole have been arrested. Both are charged with aggravated battery.

The Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office requested the help of the GBI on Sunday, July 26 to assist with the investigation.

According to the GBI, preliminary information revealed that on Sunday, July 26, 2020, between midnight and 2 a.m., Christopher Bailey Swope was attacked and severely beaten by Cole, the owner of the residence in Reidsville, and King.

The GBI states Cole forced Swope to remain at the residence and to apologize on video for an argument that occurred earlier in the night at a graduation party.

Sean Swope says his brother Bailey has a long road of recovery. He has no vision in his right eye. A plastic surgeon will need to repair his eye sockets. He also has metal plates in his jaw and its wired shut.

Swope says learning two arrests have been made stirred up a lot of emotions.

“I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know what they were calling for but I was just overwhelmed and happy,” said Sean Swope.

It’s a nightmare Swope says he will never forget, getting a call that his brother had been beaten almost to death.

“At first I was just so hurt that they hadn’t been arrested right away, but after speaking with them over and over again, they assured me that you know this is how a case works. It takes time, you have to build all of your evidence if you want to put someone away for a long time.”

Swope’s family is now 100 percent focused on his recovery.

“I’m hoping one day that his life can go back to normal, that he’s able to work again and maybe not be so traumatized.”

And they just keep doing everything they can to help. Because they say that’s what Bailey would do for them.

“I think in my mind you know he would do the same for me if it was me in this situation, him or my sisters they would do the same for and that’s what keeps me going.”

Family and friends are working together to tackle mounting hospital bills. Currently they say there are more than $50,000 in bills with more expected.

This GBI investigation remains active and ongoing. Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the GBI at (912) 871-1121.

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