Memphis, TN (March 19, 2018)—Recording studio guard Crafton Barnes required 25 stitches to his face after a would-be burglar allegedly bit off part of his cheek—reportedly the culmination of numerous days of harassment by the suspect, Cortlandt Northcross, 29, now in custody.
Reportedly Barnes first met Northcross on Sunday, March 11, when the suspect appeared at Sounds Good Memphis recording studio on Cooper Street, where Barnes is employed. As Barnes related to police, Northcross said he was homeless and wanted to a place to sleep. Barnes told Norcross he couldn’t stay there but offered him some beef jerky for food.
In the days that followed, Barnes claims, he began to get abusive voicemails and texts from a person that he told WTVR was Norcross. At first, the messages claimed that Norcross owned the studio, but further messages included threats to kill Barnes and police.
Barnes told WMC Action News, “Left me a voicemail threatening to kill everybody in the house, and then he started texting me from the same number saying he’s going to carve me up and call the police and call the police. It’s OK, I’ll shoot them too.” Information in the texts led Barnes to an Instagram account that he felt belonged to the suspect.
According to reports, the messages eventually stopped on the evening of Wednesday, March 14. While alone in the studio, Barnes fell asleep on a couch but was woken up in the early morning hours when someone began banging on the front door. A moment later, a window was broken and the suspect entered the facility, causing Barnes to run upstairs and lock himself in a room.
Later on, thinking the burglar had left, Barnes came downstairs and was attacked; the pair fell to the floor and the suspect bit Barnes’ face and torso multiple times. Barnes managed to get up and forced Norcross outside, where the suspect sat on the front stairs until police arrived, greeting them by putting his hands behind his back and saying “Take me to jail,” according to WREG. When police entered the facility, they found blood and part of Barnes’ cheek on the floor.
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According to WTVR, Northcross has numerous “emergency commitments” in his past. He has been charged with two burglary and two aggravated assault charges.
Barnes was taken to an emergency room, but he does not have medical insurance. Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help him afford medication and medical care arising from the incident.
Crafton Barnes GoFundMe page • https://www.gofundme.com/crafton