Police: Woman refuses ex-boyfriend, so he attacks her with a machete

A manhunt is underway for a Rome man accused of attacking his ex-girlfriend with a machete after trying to convince her they should get back together.

Clifford Fredrick Whatley, 30, is wanted on a charge of aggravated battery in connection with the Aug. 22 attack at the Riverwood Park apartment in Rome, according to Rome police. The victim, Syveta Sewell, told the Rome News-Tribune she is now recovering from slashes and fractures to her head and arm. 

Officers responding to the complex on West 13th Street about 10 p.m. that night found a trail of blood leading to Sewell, who was badly injured, according to a police report obtained by She was found sitting on a chair in her bathroom, going in and out of consciousness.

Sewell had a deep, four- to six-inch gash on her arm and her skull was visible through another wound on her head, according to the report.

She was taken to an area hospital and later told police she and her ex-boyfriend, Whatley, were discussing their relationship outside the apartment they shared, and he became upset.

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When she told him she wouldn’t take him back, he reportedly said, “If (I) can't have (you), then nobody else will.” He also told her she would see her mother, who had died, before pulling a machete from underneath his shirt, police said.

A neighbor heard Sewell’s screams and called 911. She was taken to Floyd Medical Center and later flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga for emergency surgery.

Whatley may be driving Sewell’s 2006 gold Ford Taurus, bearing Georgia tag PAV 1282. She told police Whatley has relatives in Rome and Savannah.

He was still at large Wednesday, according to the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office.

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