VSP Rescue Man Being Beaten at I-81 Exit Ramp in Bristol, Va.

BRISTOL, Va. – An Abingdon resident is behind bars tonight on more than a dozen charges after beating a panhandler on the side of an Interstate 81 exit ramp. A. Victor Asher, 60, is being held at the Bristol, Va. Jail on multiple charges to include three charges of assault on a police officer, domestic assault, malicious wounding, being drunk in public, disorderly conduct, obstruction of justice, resisting arrest, and illegal possession of a controlled substance.

At about 12:35 p.m., Monday (Feb. 5), Virginia State Police Trooper B.S. Davis was traveling on Old Airport Road when he pulled up to the intersection at Interstate 81’s Exit 7. Trooper Davis looked over at the off-ramp from I-81 north to see a shirtless, male subject jump out from the passenger side of a Ford utility van stopped at the light.

The male subject – later identified as Asher – was armed with a wooden stick, about the size and width of a baseball bat, and began using it to beat an 18-year-old male panhandler standing on the side of the exit ramp at the intersection.

Trooper Davis immediately ran to the 18-year-old’s aid. It took Trooper Davis and several other troopers to take Asher into custody as he was extremely combative and refused to cooperate with the troopers’ commands. He was finally placed inside a Bristol, Virginia Police vehicle for transport to the Bristol, Va. Jail.

Further investigation by Trooper Davis resulted in the domestic violence charge against Asher for assaulting the adult female driving the Ford van. The female refused to be transported for treatment of her non-life threatening injuries.

The 18-year-old male refused to be transported for treatment of his non-life threatening injuries. Virginia State Police Sgt. T.M. Atwell treated the teenager to a meal at a nearby restaurant. A trooper then gave him a ride to the nearest bus station and purchased him a bus ticket so he could safely continue on his way.

The incident remains under investigation.