Cops: Suspect claims COVID-19 stress triggered attack on two UGA grads

Eric Keith Mitchell

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Eric Keith Mitchell

An Athens man blamed stress from COVID-19 for an unprovoked assault on two women outside a food store early Sunday, according to police.

Athens police said Eric Keith Mitchell, 39, attacked the women as they were leaving the Golden Pantry convenience store on North Milledge Avenue. Both women, who were only identified as recent University of Georgia graduates, suffered severe cuts and were taken to a hospital.

Mitchell was arrested around 9 a.m. Sunday after police heard a commotion outside the store and found the suspect in the parking lot with a razor knife, according to a news release.

Mitchell, who cited stress from the coronavirus pandemic, was charged with two counts of aggravated battery and aggravated assault in connection with the attack. He was still in jail Monday afternoon.

Anyone who may have witnessed the attack or has information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Scott Black at 762-400-7058.

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