Police are asking for help finding a York man accused of brutally assaulting his ex-girlfriend and her three children.
York police say Thomas Eugene Mitchell, 35, had been hiding under the woman’s bed on Dec. 27 before he lunged out and beat her, leaving her with severe eye injuries. He then attacked her son and two daughters, police say.
“We’re treating him as a dangerous individual,” said York Police Lt. Rich Caddell, warning the public not to approach Mitchell if they spot him, but to call 911 as soon as possible.
Police were called to the woman’s Bishop Street home after receiving word about people fighting, according to a York Police report. When officers arrived, three children ran from the house screaming, “Mom is hurt really bad.”
The victim, 36, suffered serious injuries to her left eye, the report states. As police tried to help her control the bleeding, she said, “I knew he was going to get me.”
She told police that after she arrived home, she went into her bedroom to put her jacket on her bed. As she turned to leave, she told them, Mitchell lunged from beneath her bed and tripped her.
He forced her to the floor and began punching her face, the report states. When her daughter, 15, tried to call police, the report states, Mitchell grabbed her neck and choked her.
Mitchell then fled from the house, police said, but not before pushing the woman’s son, 9, into a wall, injuring his lip. He then grabbed the woman’s youngest daughter, 7, by her arm and “slung her into the wall,” the report states.
Paramedics took the woman and her children to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for treatment. The victim told police she received stitches on her eye lids, and is unable to see out of her left eye clearly, according to police documents.
A police K9 unit attempted to track Mitchell but was unable to find him.
The victim told police she and Mitchell had once lived together. They dated for almost three years, but do not share any children. Police later learned that Mitchell had been banned from all York Housing Authority properties. The victim showed police several text messages dating back to October, in which she told Mitchell to stop harassing her.
The woman did not know how Mitchell got inside the house, the report states, because she had made sure all her windows and doors were locked.
On Monday, the woman told The Herald that police tried to find Mitchell after she reported the harassment several months ago. She said she decided to break up with him because “he had some things going on with his personal life.” After they separated, Mitchell began calling her, she said, asking to see her and her children. The victim refused.
The woman said Mitchell had never been “violent like that.” She still has trouble seeing out of her left eye.
“My oldest still has difficulty sleeping,” she said. Her two youngest children are “doing OK” and returned to school on Monday.
“I’m not going back to the apartment,” she said. “We have the support of the community and family.”
Mitchell was last sighted on Saturday on Cleveland Avenue – a three-minute walk from the victim’s home, Caddell said.
Over two decades, York Police have filed multiple drug, larceny and assault charges against Mitchell.