Authorities have announced that an arrest was made earlier this month in Asheville, North Carolina, of a man from Georgia suspected of having left his victim “beaten and partially scalped.”
Asheville Police Department (APD) officers responded to a call of an assault that occurred in the city’s Kenilworth neighborhood, which has historically been a quiet residential area but has recently been experiencing a recent spate of violent crime, according to the APD.
Leyton James Lanier, 22, was arrested on December 10 after the APD said officers responded to the call the day before. According to a press release issued by the APD, the responding officers discovered a horrific scene.
A man had been “beaten and partially scalped” and left for dead. According to the authorities, the victim had suffered severe head trauma after being struck with a blunt object, and there was evidence that he had also been robbed. After conducting an investigation, the police stated that they discovered a stolen vehicle from a burglary that was unrelated to the beating but later identified Lanier as a suspect in both of those crimes.
After searching Lanier’s house, the Atlanta Police Department claimed that they discovered evidence “further linking Lanier to a nearby burglary in November.” Lanier was very prolific, a one-man wrecking crew who was almost single-handedly driving up crime statistics in the area. Lanier was taken into custody and has been charged with a total of 14 offenses, some of which include burglary in the first degree and assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill or inflict serious injury.
The city’s violent crime rate increased by 31% per 100,000 people from 2016 to 2020, nearly double the national average and 18 percentage points higher than the rate of increase seen across North Carolina’s state during the same period.
In September, the APD disseminated new statistics that demonstrated these patterns have persisted, indicating an increase of 34% year-to-date compared to the previous year and a rise of 29% over 2020.