WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WFMY) – The Reynolda Manor Public Library in Winston-Salem is quieter than usual this week.
The library staff is missing one of their regulars, Mr. Arthur “Bill” Bloxham Jr.
Police say Bloxham, who is homeless, was attacked by three teenagers while he was sleeping under a bridge on Glade Street near Hanes Park in Winston-Salem.
Bloxham was homeless, but he did have a family at the library.
“Bill is part of our library family. We miss him,” said Jenny Boneno, branch manager of the library.
Bloxham had been coming to the Reynolda Manor Public Library since 2014 when the central library downtown closed.
Boneno says he would show up at the library just about every day and eat his lunch on the curb out front.
But last month, when he suddenly stopped showing up, Boneno says the staff knew something was wrong.
“We were concerned. We didn’t know if he was maybe staying with family and that’s why he wasn’t coming in,” said Boneno. “But as days went by and then weeks, we became increasingly concerned.”
Their concern was well warranted.
Bloxham remains in intensive care for treatment of the injuries he sustained in the attack.
“Right now I think he just needs our thoughts and prayers so he can recover. I hope he knows how much he is missed and loved,” said Boneno.
Before the attack, Boneno says Bloxham would come to the library every day and loved to read.
“He would read everything from music, classical music and musical instruments to history and mathematics,” said Boneno.
Bloxham graduated from the UNC School of the Arts in 1980.
“He’s just always so interesting and interested in everything. We love that we could be a place for him to come and experience that,” said Boneno.
Boneno says Bloxham liked to be alone, but he quickly became a part of the library community.
“At Christmas, I know he didn’t have the money to spend, but he brought us a bag of candy, Baby Ruth candy bars as a Christmas gift and a thank you to the staff,” said a teary-eyed Boneno. “That touched all of us so much.”
It was a touching gesture they’re keeping near as they pray for his recovery.
“I hope he knows how much he is missed and loved,” said Boneno.
The three teenagers charged in Bloxham’s assault have all bonded out of jail.
All three are charged with felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury.
A motive is still unclear.