Tennessee woman loses both eyes in gruesome attack, suspect charged

Michael Roberson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (NewsChannel9/SBG) - Police say a mother is now blind, and a father is in jail after an alleged assault.

Chattanooga police officers say the woman lost both her eyes in the attack.

Officers say they found the woman laying face down next to her eyeballs in a yard on Francis Drive, Wednesday night.

Juan Medina saw police respond, and learned the details about what happened the next day.

According to an arrest affidavit, Michael Roberson is accused of ripping out the woman's eyeballs.

ALLEGED ATTACK: Police say a man beat a woman so badly she lost both her eyeballs. It happened Wednesday on Francis Dr.

-- Hannah Lawrence (@hannah_NC9) September 28, 2017 Police say she was also stabbed in the stomach.

"It's something that makes you take a few steps back," Medina said.

Medina's 16-year-old neighbor told us he tried to intervene Wednesday and stayed home from school Thursday, trying to forget what he saw.

He says Roberson was sitting on top of the woman, using only his hands to destroy her face.

That teen was too traumatized to do an interview Thursday.

Emily O'Donnell with the Woman's Foundation says rightfully so.

"I have to believe that it is deeply disturbing for a teenager to see a woman beat to where her eyeballs are out," she said.

Court records show the suspect, Michael Roberson was charged with assault in 2006. A judge found him not guilty for reason of insanity.

-- Hannah Lawrence (@hannah_NC9) September 28, 2017 O'Donnell is working on legislation that would add to the sentence of someone found guilty of committing domestic violence in front of a child.

According to the arrest affidavit, Roberson told police the fight between he and his child's mother started over the kid.

Witnesses say the child watched the assault too.

"That is a horrific crime to witness at any age," O'Donnell said.

O'Donnell says children who witness domestic violence are more likely to be violent when they grow up. She says they are also more prone to substance abuse problems.

A judge found him not guilty for reason of insanity, and the charges were dismissed.

According to court records, Michael Roberson was charged with assault in 2006.

At the police station Wednesday, Roberson told officers that the fight he had with the victim started with a dispute over the couple's son. The affidavit says he then told officers he "blacked out and did not remember what he did." He also told officers that he is "at a low point in his life."

The affidavit says officers found a broken knife, keys, and torn clothing on the scene.

Roberson remains in custody at the Hamilton County Jail, and now faces charges of attempted first degree murder and aggravated domestic assault.