PD: Attacker punches homeless man in head multiple times, steals cellphone

A homeless man was punched in the head Thursday night multiple times by a man who robbed him of his cellphone, police said.

The 21-year-old homeless man was putting his sleeping bag down in the 100 block of State Street around 11:10 p.m. when 29-year-old Howard D. Eskridge, of Madison, attacked him, according to a release.

Eskridge punched the 21-year-old multiple times in the head and went through his pockets, ripping one open, police said. Eskridge took the man’s cellphone and left.

The 21-year-old suffered significant head injuries and was taken to a hospital, according to the release.

Police used surveillance cameras to identify and arrest Eskridge on tentative charges of substantial battery, robbery with use of force, disorderly conduct and intimidating a victim.