BRPD: FBI asked to investigate possible hate crime
BATON ROUGE - Two days after an attack described by its victims as racially-charged, police investigators asked the FBI to investigate possible federal hate crime charges.
Police said the white victims were both knocked unconscious as they were pumping gas Sunday evening at a station on the corner of Plank Rd. and Scenic Hwy. Police arrested Donald Dickerson, 41, on suspicion of felony second degree battery.
In an email sent to News 2, one of the victims said, "It seems there are a lot of inaccurate stories circulating. We would like to set the record straight. This was absolutely a targeted attack due to the color of our skin."
The victims invited News 2 to the hospital to interview about their injuries and their belief the attack was racially-motivated, but cancelled minutes before the meeting after talking with District Attorney Hillar Moore.
Moore said he advised them against it to protect the case and their identity.
In an affidavit of probably cause, the male victim said Dickerson told him "You're in the wrong neighborhood," and "you're not going to make it out." Police said Dickerson repeatedly struck the male victim, giving him two black eyes, a broken nose, and bruises all over his head.
The victim's wife and his 14-year-old daughter were also attacked when they tried to help the male victim out. The mother had minor injuries, while the daughter was knocked down but uninjured.
Police wrote tickets for misdemeanor simple battery to two others involved in the altercation, Devin Bessey and Ashley Simmons.
Investigators haven't ruled out hate crimes as potential charges and said they'll continue interviewing witnesses and the victims.