A 78-year-old white man says he was savagely beaten by a gang of six youths shouting: ‘This is for Trayvon. Kill that white.’
Six youngsters aged between 11 and 17, both white and black, allegedly launched a merciless attack on Dallas Watts in East Toledo, Ohio.
The frail pensioner says he was on the way home from the shops on Saturday after buying treats for his dogs when the boys approached him and one said: ‘Take him down.’
In an interview with the Toledo Blade, he says he looked at the youth and said to him: ‘Why you picking on me? Remember Trayvon. Why you picking on me?’
He alleges that one of the boys then delivered a sharp blow to the back of his head which knocked him to the ground, before the rest began to lay into him.
For the next four minutes the youths continued to punch and kick Mr Watts, until he lost consciousness.
At one point, the slight father-of-four recalled, he was lifted from the ground so one of the boys could drop-kick him in the chest.
According to a police report, cited by the Blade, as the boys beat Mr Watts they shouted: ‘[Get] that white [man]. This is for Trayvon … Trayvon lives, white [man]. Kill that white [man].’
The gang only stopped their vicious attack and fled when two customers at a nearby petrol station stepped in to help, Mr Watts said.
‘All I could hear before I passed out [was]: “Don’t kill him, or we all go to jail,'” Mr Watts told Fox Toledo.
‘If [the customers] had not gotten involved, he would have killed me.’
Mr Watts told the Blade he believes the assault could have been revenge for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February.
The black teenager was shot dead by self-styled neighbourhood watch captain George Zimmerman in a well-to-do community in Sanford, Florida.
With many alleging that Trayvon was targeted because of the colour of his skin, the killing has seen a bubbling over of racial tensions in the U.S.
Zimmerman told officers he fired in self-defence and has not been charged with any crime, but mass demonstrations have taken place all over the country calling for his arrest.
Toledo police say its still not clear whether the attack on Mr Watts was meant in revenge for Trayvon’s killing or whether the old man’s ‘Remember Trayvon’ statement was misunderstood as threatening or racist.
Mr Watts has said he meant the statement in a ‘peaceful way’, telling the Blade: ‘All I meant by saying “remember Trayvon” is to remember what happened to him, don’t duplicate it here.’
The attack took place several hours after a peaceful rally in the town to show support for the Trayvon’s family.
Three youths have been charged in connection with the attack, Fox Toledo reported. Two of the youths, who have not been identified, were charged with one count of robbery.
Mr. Watts said: ‘You don’t pick somebody off the sidewalk and let somebody else give him a lick… that was malicious intent, that was a hate crime, I now want them punished for it.’
Three of these kids have been charged. Two for robbery and one for disorderly conduct. But what about the other three kids allegedly to have been involved? And what is up with the “robbery” charge. Shouldn’t it be assault and battery?
Detectives have said they are NOT treating the case as a hate crime even though it was an obvious hate crime. Should the roles have been reversed, the detectives would have definitely treated it as a hate crime, but don’t forget, after all, only whites are capable of committing hate crimes.
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