Homeless Man Attacked in Garberville and Sent to Hospital Last Night

Brian Tree Plympton

Brian Tree Plympton and his dog Sweet Pea [Photo provided by Andy Caffrey]

At approximately 11:30 last night, a man attacked a well-known local homeless man, Brian Tree Plympton, according to Garberville resident Andy Caffrey. Caffrey said that the Plympton and his dog had been sleeping outside the front door of the Presbyterian Church in Garberville. The two got into an altercation and the man struck Plympton with a heavy metal sign “bloodying up Bran’s face and leaving him barely breathing,” according to Caffrey.

Plympton was eventually taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka where he is ICU. “The doctors have him sedated and expect that he should be able to speak to me on the phone tomorrow,” Caffrey said.

According to Caffrey, Plympton “has heart and kidney problems and cancer among other things….The doctors are familiar with Brian and expect that he will be in good enough shape to be released in about four days.”



  • How sad! I hope he is feeling better soon, and that his dog will be ok too.

  • I wish him a speedy recovery. does anyone know if his dog is in a safe place? he loves that dog.

    • Yes, someone has taken Sweet Pea.

      • Is Sweet Pea a service dog? I swear this man was in my store last week with his older dog & they were both so nice & polite. The dog even came around behind the counter to greet us with licks and tail wags.I’m in Eureka though, so maybe it was another Sweet Pea. I hope he recovers & is reunited with his pup soon.

      • Thank goodness. I volunteer at Redwood Mem and met Brian and Sweet Pea last week, and we had a wonderful conversation about our love for animals. This is so sad. I hope he is back on his feet soon.

      • this is Gayle. I am going to see Brian @ St Joes and would like to be able to tell him where Sweet Pea is. They stayed with me Weds. and Thurs. and she can stay with me if that helps. I can be reached @ 768 1921 or text 273 o272 only check email once a month so dont bother with that.

      • I’ve seen this man around town for quiet a while, he has good energy. And his dog is very nice too. He does need help, now maybe more people will help him. I don’t know his story, always wondered tho’ how he ended up in G’ville, and where he is from and who his people are.

  • fakeemail@gmail.com

    why is he not in assisted living facility?

    • Uh where is that located? I dont think theres anywhere for poor folk, look how crazily crappy elder care is for those who can pay.
      Its yet another thing in our county that we will either have to do ourselves or go without.

      • So true…I have an elderly friend who is homeless…as breast cancer, heart disease, multiple health problems…she can barely walk…and apparently there is no housing for her…she would love a place to live…has resisted assisted living even if it was available because she couldn’t have her dog with her.

        • Thinking allowed

          Salvation Army housing on Tydd St allows one dog.

          • Without a link to a phone number or website etc. such claims (not saying yours is) are often ill-informed, outdated and just plain wrong. So many stated resources are mirages; when someone in need follows up they find the help no longer exists or never did. I have known and assisted many with trying to find shelter with a pet and there is nothing except, last I heard, temporary places such as the MAC or Chin’s temporary shelters.

            Meanwhile the animal shelters are packed and people donate money to keep those animals in cages for years sometimes rather than invest in people being able to keep them.

  • thank you kym

  • Hitting a (sleeping) homeless man with a street sign?? Was there a reason beyond the perp proving himself the weakest bully around. Targets don’t come any softer or easier. Wishing him a speedy recovery…

    Most men NEED some sort of physical outlet. Running, heavy weights, mma, boxing, yoga, .. something keep that Test in check.

  • fakeemail@gmail.com

    will there be charges filed? assault?assault with deadly weapon?attempted murder?

  • Did he still have his guitar?
    I see that SweetPea is safe but did anyone manage to round up his belongings?
    I sure hope this terrible thing doesn’t leave Bryan without what little he has.

  • so sad…wish i had the kind of money i could do something to change things for the better for him and his dog sweetpea but dang it i dont.

  • Its called bum bashing and its been going on around here since i was a teenager…

  • I have Sweet Pea and she’s safe, but very sad. I can tell she’s missing Brian a lot. I think this is a call to action for our community to stand firm against the violence often visited upon the elderly and homeless. Whoever did this is certainly a dangerous person and I hope that anyone with information will come forward.

    • Maybe when Brian is better, someone can have him facetime his dog. Just so both of them can have the comfort of seeing each other? I know it sounds silly but if I were in the hospital I would give anything to see my dogs~

      • what a great idea. Godspeed to Brian…hope he and his beloved furry friend are re-united soon. I hope all possible charges are filed against the perpetrator of this chrime. Where is the humanity? I am broken-hearted for this man, his dog and the people that obviously care about him and keep an eye on him. NOT OKAY.

      • Yellow flowers… I love that idea!

    • Maybe its on a camera .If Garberville has any around streets or businesses.

    • I agree

  • If I remember correctly, Brian moved here 20+/- years ago to take care of his dad. Sad to see him homeless and sick.

  • Shaking my head.

    That may be. And if that’s the case, whoever bashed this, “bum,” is a chickenshit, coward, motherfucker.
    May the next guy he runs into be in better health.

  • I hope the punk that beat Brian up is arrested. It would be nice if the community would donate a little money to help him out.

  • Brian is a non violent individual. I love his dog Sweet Pea. She is a real lover. I knew his other dog who was also a sweet heart. Brian has been suffering from cancer in addition to his blindness which was also a result of an assault. To the gutless punks that have caused the numerous injuries to Brian. KARMA HAS NO EXPIRATION DATE!

  • To the person who did this, may you never encounter the heartless actions of another angry human when you are down and out, and may you see the wrongs of your ways and make amends

  • Double speak outside of cheek

    I hope a local agency like Betty Chins place can step up and help this man and his pup. Disgusting for someone to be attacked like this. Humanity where have you gone?

  • Thank you Andy and Kym for posting this and keeping people aware.

  • O SO SAD.

  • Fucking piece of shit bastards. I hope his dog and him can reunite in peace. It takes the lowest form of scum to do this to a man without food or shelter. His dog looks like she hasn’t missed a meal though. May God bless her and her owner.

  • How FUCKING AWFUL, I hope the mother fucking piece of shit is found and procecuted to the fullest. Maybe some kind heart person could help him find a place to live safe. Wishing Brian a speedy recovery and him and sweet pea a permanent home. Prayers for Brian & Sweet Pea

  • Justice for a kind soul!

    Brian is an extraordinarily caring, talented and intelligent gentleman! We have known him for many years and he is a true friend. He would give his shirt of his back to help anyone in need. I pray that he heals quickly and finds the care he needs. Also, that justice is served for such a loved sweet soul. The local community needs to stand by and support Brian. He actually sold his property years ago and then bought a van and donated money to others in need. He really deserves the best since he has given so much to others!!!

  • is hospice aware of this man and his situation? there will come a time when he is completely unable to take care of himself….would like to know that he is hooked up with some type of social services…certainly none of my business….. don’t need an answer to this question….but would like to think there are enough services out there to help him with his cancer, the pain and disability it brings and that he can spend his last days (whenever they come) with Sweet Pea. One case of way too many…Godspeed Brian.

  • I saw him in front of Featherose yesterday evening while we are at the food truck. He was with a younger gal. We tried to feed him but he said he was ok. They walked off together. Seemed odd to me but who knows.

  • Any word on the assailant? Brian or Andy know who he is? Is he going to face any consequences (from jail to Restorative Justice)???

    • No- he will face no consequences, thats how its goes in Redway/Garberville. Back in February I think was, a young man was tried for beating Richard, a houseless member of Southern Humboldt nearly to death in the town square. The housed man got probation and a very small fine (<2k) for almost killing someone. I was one of two who were at the trial and witnessed your standard good ol' boy justice in action. The Prosecutor, Judge and Public defender coddled the violent behavior in their apologetic tones, and no doubt because it was perpetrated against a homeless man. If a black or brown man beat an elderly housed woman nearly to death in the town square, do you think he would be on probation??? I think not. So the hate crimes continue because our government is corrupt, ineffective and causing these problems (created by their negligence) to be much worse. This story is unfortunately common place in Redway/Garberville. There are literally too many beatings of homeless (ex. 1 weeks go, a similar story never made the news about a tourist getting beat), and too many bodies in the rivers to count. It has never been more important for media to step up and speak up for those who are unable. Thanks for covering this story Kym, and thanks to Andy for his ongoing efforts speaking up on behalf of the most at risk in our community!!!! If you are interested in hearing more on this issue, directly from the 10-20% houseless, mostly working members of the Southern Humboldt community who have no alternative options, while they face hate, scapegoating and violence on the daily-See this month's Greenfuse Newspaper for in depth coverage on this very issue, including vigilantism throughout Humboldt's history through today, and what our Human Rights Commission isn't doing to address these ongoing hate crimes. Greenfuse can be found at the headiest establishments near you, coops etc. and it will be posted online at http://www.greenfuse.work tonight.

      • I like to hear a little more detail on this “tourist” who was beat. I’m quite sure that there is more to the story than some poor random tourist/traveler who was not the benefactor of SoHum hospitality.

  • What the fuck is wrong with people. When you beat up a defenseless person that means YOUR A FUCKIN COWARD.i hope he’s doing better. Who’s watching SWEET PEA??

  • If no one see s it happen the DA wont help you .even if you have evidence that one was attacked buy the said assalent .who ever that may be I ,so hope he has a spreedy recovery .I just wish I was there to protect the poor old guy .Must be real tuff beating up a little old man . who ever did this heaness assault. deserves to be punished .get well soon Mr plympton .

  • Hey Kim, the article seems incomplete. The first paragraph looks like it said something about the assailant, but it was edited out, almost making it sound like Andy hit him. Is there any information on who attacked Brian?

  • Homeless and blind with cancer among other problems? I hope this piece of shit gets what he has coming.

    • I know Brian and he has been beaten before in Garberville. He was not a tourist, he moved there, hmmmm, I want to say over 20 years ago, to help take care of his ailing father and then foolishly gave his money away to people in need. He was allowed to stay at different owners stores on main street in Garberville and he would keep an eye out for them at night.

      Methamphetamines is a big problem in Garberville as well as theft. He ratted out a “bad person” who was a felon and this “felon” spent a few years in prison. The moment he got out of prison, he looked for Brian and beat him up pretty bad. On that occasion, Sweet Pea ended up in a vets and when Brian got out from St. Joseph’s he had to come up with money for the vet! There is no law and order in Garberville. The “law” if you can call it that knew damn well who did it but they did not arrest him. Brian did not file charges because he was beat unconscious, almost died and he is afraid of this man.

      He had been staying away from Garberville to avoid this “felon” since that happened last year sometime. I do believe he said he was waiting in line for the assisted living behind the hospital in Garberville. He loved Garberville, was not in Garberville last time I saw him and he said he would never go back because that “felon” had it out for him and he had followers. He would only return to Garberville once he knew his number came up for that housing behind the Garberville Hospital.

      Brian is one of the sweetest, kindest and most generous man I have ever met. I am surprised he let his guard down and returned to “lawless, corrupt Garberville”. He will be in my prayers

  • brian ,is a good friend ,whose luck just kept going down hill,we have had many conversations ,includeing him dieing twice and being clinicaly dead for some time and his seeing the afterlife,I truly hope the perps are found and karma is served

  • Oh my god, Brian is the sweetest, most giving person who is homeless because of health reasons. How could anyone do this to him. I’m glad sweet pea is taken care of. I will be creating a GoFundMe to raise money for a hotel when he gets out of the hospital. Please give what you can, this is a beautiful soul we are talking about.

  • This is very disturbing on every level. I pray Brian gets the help and care he deserves so he can live a life of peace with his BFF Sweet Pea.
    The commentators are warming my heart on this frigid cold day. May the universe bless you all.

  • going to see Brian @ St Joes. will tell him Steph has Sweet Pea. Does he know how to contact her? Iam Gayle and can be reached / text @ 273 0272

  • Michael Tiffany

    Then set up a sting, and have someone lay down in a doorway pretending to sleep, and have have others in the bushes with cameras recording the attackers then give it to the police.

  • Update! So many loving people contacted me yesterday and that I knew would contact him, that I didn’t phone him myself today. I wanted to let him rest. I will check in with him tomorrow.

    But Sweet Pea is well taken care of by Stephanie, his designated caretaker. Brain’s niece Camille and other friends visited him today. Gayle says doctors expect him to stay in hospital 4-5 days. I’ve got all of his possessions secured. He has an offer to stay with Phoenix for awhile after he leaves hospital and she set up a gofundme page for Brain and Sweet Pea which you can share and contribute to here: https://www.gofundme.com/brian-plymptom

    Brian did recognize the culprit and a neighbor Adrienne confronted the guy. So that’s two people who can recognize him. I only saw him from behind from my apartment window across the street.

  • I’m Brian’s niece. I spent some time with him today and he is doing surprisingly well. I told him he can stay with me when he gets out of the hospital, but I don’t think he will. He lives his life the way he chooses. He did say he is on several waiting lists for senior housing. He also agreed with me that he needs to be somewhere safe thankfully. I really appreciate all the love and support you have all shown him. Thank you very much. I could see that he felt very loved when I was with him. That means a lot to me.

  • You are so welcome, Camille. I’m so glad you got to visit him. I’m so happy that he is feeling the love!

    Update from gofundme page two hours ago:

    Brian is out of I.C.U. and in typical Brian style he sounds chipper and focused on the bright side! His hip is bruised, but fortunately not fractured. He will be in the hospital for about 4 more days then will be staying with me during his recovery. Thank you for your donations, they will go towards expenses picking up Sweet Pea, Brian and his belongings from the various areas his life has been scattered, then taking him to a quiet place in Mendo to recover. As of yet no further donations are needed but I am working on a plan for him after recovery since the waiting lists he is on for a few senior living places is taking to long and has led to him being attacked multiple times. Brian prefers to give more than to take so getting him to take the help he so derverses is difficult but I think finding him a room for rent while he waits for other housing is a viable option and could become easier with the communities help. Thanks for your support of this kind man!
    Help spread the word!

  • I just spoke with Brian Tree Plympton. Turns out he went into respiratory arrest and stopped breathing Friday night after being attacked. So Adrienne Helene saved his life. Thank you so much Adrienne! He’s out of ICU. He’s very weak now, but recovering nicely.

    I’m trying to track down a ride for Brian when he is released from St. Joseph’s hospital Friday morning. Anybody coming down from Arcata or Eureka to SoHum late Friday morning who can pick him up?

    Brian told me that the guy who attacked him was homicidal. So we have a potential murderer on the lose. When Brian’s back, I’m sure he’ll call up Thank Jah to talk about what happened. I guess that call will be next week.

  • I am sad,angry and heartbroken but also happy and relieved to see there are still people out there that care ! I met Brian two years ago while gifting socks and gloves and presents to our local homeless on Christmas. We had a great conversation and he told me how he gave everything away to help people . My heart hurts so badly that this happened to him. I would like to know what I cAn do to help! If there is anything else he needs please get in contact with me on private message … I know Adrianne and am so grateful she was there to help him .

  • I’m doing a live call-in radio show with Brian Tree Plympton this afternoon from 5-5:30 on KMUD. He’ll be calling in from the hospital! You can call in too!

  • The Presbyterian Church across the street from me is on fire and half of it has burnt to the ground. Five firetrucks with almost no water. Thank God no wind!

  • It looks like it was arson. The fire is out. All of the northern buildings of the Presbyterian church were destroyed as was the southern wall of the old chautauqua store from water damage. A fireman working on the completely destroyed RV said he thought an accelerant was used. People say they heard this guy yelling that he was going to burn the whole town down. The church could end up being a total loss even though most of the chapel and the office didn’t burn. 100 people on the street. We are so lucky that there was absolutely no wind. But why there seemed to be no water for the hoses for the first half hour I have no idea. There is a hydrant right outside my apartment. A truly horrifying loss to our community.

    This is the same church where Brian was attacked one week ago by a different person. Dau died maybe 12 hours ago. A devastating week. I’m going to sleep now. Want to try to get up to talk about this on Thank Jah at 9 am. I shot most of it on video so I’ll try to have that up by dinner time. Pardon the pun, but I am completely burnt out. Hopefully, so is the fire…

  • Click on the above photo and you’ll see it right side up.

  • A day after my interview with him for the Thursday afternoon Public Affairs show (5-5:30 pm in the KMUD Audio Archive) Brian Tree Plympton is out of the hospital and back in Garberville today with his niece Camille Idelle and host for him for the next couple of weeks Phoenix Kasper. Brian took me to lunch and I reconnected him with his belongings. Next stop is picking up Sweet Pea!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *