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Beating victim's family working to establish reward, organize events to help her
by Tom Spigolon
August 05, 2014 02:49 PM | 1229 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joey Waddell said he does not believe he can ask area residents to do more than what they already have in offering aid to his sister-in-law who was severely beaten as she walked on the Silver Comet Trail in Dallas last week.

Waddell said Monday he is working to use some of the donations the public made to Tina Waddell through SunTrust Bank and a weekend event to offer a $1,000 reward for the capture of the attacker.

“I can’t just let this go away,” he said. “This guy is still out there.”

Sheriff Gary Gulledge announced Tuesday he established a reward fund and is asking the public to donate to it, sheriff’s spokesman Ashley Henson said.

The Tina Waddell Reward Fund has been established at the Bank of North Georgia’s Hiram branch at 75 Metromont Road. Call the bank at (770) 943-4348 for more information, Henson said.

Joey Waddell said he has become the unofficial spokesman and event organizer for Tina, 42, who he said was training for a 5K race when someone grabbed her and beat her beyond recognition on the trail between the Paulding Chamber of Commerce and Drummond trailheads in Dallas July 29.

Waddell said the family also has received calls from such nationally televised shows as “Dr. Oz” and “Dr. Phil” about the July 29 attack and its aftermath.

He said he is working to organize a ‘Take Back the Trail for Tina’ 5K race in her honor to raise funds for installation of emergency telephones along the trail in Paulding County. He also is working with organizers of a 60-mile benefit bicycle ride planned for the trail.

Doctors have wired Tina’s jaw shut and are waiting for swelling to go down before working to mend some of the broken bones and other damage to her face, family members have said.

Her family traveled from her home state of Arkansas to be with her. Tina’s husband, Jim, had been staying with Tina at the hospital but returned to work this week, Joey Waddell said.

“[Jim is] just kind of in shock,” he said. “He’s been touched by the community outreach.”

Paulding sheriff’s investigators have not revealed publicly what information they have found. Joey Waddell said they likely have gotten little from Tina because she “can’t remember much” about the attack other than him being a white male with dark hair.

She lost a cell phone and car keys during the incident but her car was not taken from where she parked to use the trail, he said.

Joey Waddell’s mother, Melissa, said Tina likely has a long recovery period ahead of her but is confident her daughter-in-law can recover because she is “pretty strong-willed.”

“She’s going to need emotional support for a while,” Ms. Waddell said.

Tina moved from Arkansas to Paulding County to marry Jim, and had been working as a pre-school teacher in a YMCA program when the incident occurred, Ms. Waddell said.

“You hear about these things happening to other people,” she said. “It doesn’t hit home until it happens to someone you know.”

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