Roger "Bubba" Rabon used to live under an overpass at Cherry Road and Interstate 77.
For years, the Rev. Ronal King and others fed Rabon before King and his Christians Feed the Hungry ministry were able to help him become the first homeless person they placed in a residence in Rock Hill last year.
Now, Rabon is clinging to life after he was brutally assaulted, causing head trauma, a broken jaw and swelling on his brain. He is hospitalized at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and listed in critical condition.
"He's super critical," said King, who considers Rabon family after more than a decade of working with him. "We don't know if he's going to make it or not. All we can do now is pray."
Rabon has been unconscious since the assault Wednesday afternoon, King said Thursday.
Police arrested two Rock Hill men - Joshua Henry Beverly, 19, of Durham Lane and Anthony Eugene Craig, 25, of Barringer Road on two counts each of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in connection with the kicking, punching and hitting of two men police say they were drinking with.
Rabon, 64, and another Rock Hill man, Daniel Whisonant, 45, were assaulted around 4 p.m. inside a house on Highland Street where Rabon had been living.
"We are still investigating the motive," Rock Hill Police Lt. Brad Redfearn said.
When Rabon passed out in the kitchen, two men started to kick him in the face, according to a police report.
The assault caused Rabon's dentures to break and scatter across the room.
The suspects then kicked and punched the other victim, Whisonant.
When officers arrived, the residence was covered in blood.
"They stomped him," King said. "This wasn't just a simple assault, they nearly tried to kill him. I have no idea why anyone would attack him like that. He didn't have any money."
Rabon was flown to CMC with broken bones in his face and head trauma.
Whisonant was taken to Piedmont Medical Center with possible head trauma and a broken eye socket.
Police caught two men, identified as Beverly and Craig, running from the house when they arrived. Both have been charged in the assault.
Bond was set for each at $400,000.
Rabon was an alcoholic, his friends say, but with the help of King and others he was managing his addiction.
Before the ministry Christians Feeding the Hungry helped him get an apartment, Rabon had been homeless for seven years, living beneath the I-77 overpass for five of those years.
One of his friends, Jesse Barnette, said he warned Rabon that he could get in trouble with some of the people he had been drinking with.
"So many worked with Bubba. So many looked out for him," King said.
Rabon turned to the streets after he lost his job as a plant supervisor when he tried to sneak a cooler of beer into the office. He lost his home after his mother died and he couldn't bring himself to go back there.
He previously told The Herald he had been drinking since he was 14. He also said the drinking got worse after his father died.
"He was doing good there for a while," Barnette said. "Until he started to have a big crowd of people up at his apartment drinking all the time.
"He's a good guy. Everyone was trying to help him out. He just wouldn't always listen."
Rabon had moved from the apartment King got him early last year into a house on Highland Street.
That's the house where the assault happened.
"We did all we could to control his drinking. He had his ups and downs," King said.
"Got him to where he had come a long way from where he was. I don't know what happened on that day."