Howard Edward Hoke
Unicoi County, TN–The few memories I have of my grandpa will last me a lifetime. He was a rotund man with rosy cheeks and a laugh like Santa Claus. He always had a box of Chiclets gum in his shirt pocket, the red ones saved for me. He saw the tom-boy in me and always had a new Matchbox car on hand. Nothing but good memories in the 6 short years that I knew him. Howard Hoke’s 5-year-old grandson will have a few long-lasting memories of him too…memories of abuse and sexual assault.
Officer Heather Reams arrived at Hoke’s home late Saturday evening to follow up on a 911 hang-up that had come from the home. When Hoke answered the door, he tried to assure the officer that everything was fine…just fine. While he was going on about how great things were, Reams noticed that Hoke had blood on his jeans. Blood could also be seen on the floor inside the home. When she asked if she could take a look inside the house, Hoke refused. After she persisted, he allowed her inside. That’s when she witnessed Hoke’s wife, Kim Bullock, cleaning blood off the 5-year-old’s face. He had a bloody nose and a busted lip.
Reams questioned the child about his injuries and, at first, the little guy wouldn’t say anything. He eventually told Reams that his PawPaw hit him and ‘bent his thumb backward.’ An examintation at the hospital revealed numerous injuries. He had injuries to his thumbs, bruises on his back, ribs and legs. His eyes, cheeks, and forehead were also bruised up. Not only that, but doctors found evidence that suggests sexual battery as well. The little boy told medical personnel that PawPaw Hoke caused all of those injuries. Nice grandpa, real fuckin’ nice.
Howard Hoke, 45, was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated sexual battery. Hoke was arraigned Monday in Unicoi County Sessions Court and remained jailed late Monday afternoon on a $300,000 bond. Hoke has prior abuse related convictions in Colorado; cruelty to a child in 1987 and child abuse in 1991.