PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Portland man is still recovering after police said he was attacked by a homeless man outside a 7-Eleven in his South Tabor neighborhood on August 12.
Bill Nickelby reportedly parked on the street behind a man who was living out of a broken-down car. Bill told police he remembered the man asking him to buy him beer.
Bill’s wife Kim Nickelby told KOIN 6 News he refused, calling the situation “sketchy.”
“The guy had asked him to buy him beer and Bill said ‘that’s like the sketch-iest thing I’ve ever heard, I’m not buying you beer,'” Kim said.
When Bill left the store, Kim said the homeless man was waiting for him and attacked him from behind with an aluminum baseball bat.
“It was terrifying,” Kim said. “It looked like he had his teeth knocked out.”
The attack left Bill with a broken skull and brain bleed. Another shopper who left the store saw Bill on the ground and called 911.
Kim said she went to the 7-Eleven to find Bill and saw his car parked behind the suspect’s. She said the suspect lied to her when she asked what happened.
“He looked me in the face and said it looked like your husband had a medical emergency, a seizure,” Kim said.
She later found a note on Bill’s car from the man, warning him never to call someone “sketchy” again.
“Next time sir, you need to think twice about who you call sketchy,” the note read. “I just did a 25-year-stretch for murder. You got lucky — be happy you’re alive. THINK before running your mouth. I’m not out here cuz I like it.”
The man who penned that letter was arrested by Portland police nine days after the incident. Kory Thomle, 55, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault.
Court records show Thomle was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree rape in 1992. He spent over six years in prison for those two crimes.
According to court documents, Thomle denied using a bat, but admitted to writing the letter, saying it was to deter Nickelby from retaliation.
Kim said her husband is athletic and had just done the Bridge Pedal on the day of the attack. Now he needs a walker to get around and is at risk of being deaf in one ear.
“I’m hoping to get my wonderful life back,” Kim said. “It wasn’t perfect but it was great to me and have my daughter feel safe.”