Family Thinks Otterbein Assault May Have Been Hate Crime
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police confirm the suspect arrested for a violent attack Thursday night on a young man in the Otterbein neighborhood near Federal Hill is now a suspect in a similar attack just one night earlier in the same area.
Derek Valcourt talked to the father of the latest victim and has more on the attacks.
Three attacks in less than a week in Federal Hill. We have a first look at the injuries from the most recent attack—and why the victim’s family thinks this might have been a hate crime.
It will take plastic surgery to properly fix the injury suffered by the 25-year-old victim, who asked not to be identified by name. It happened Thursday night when three African-American teenagers attacked him, throwing a rock at his face as he walked down Montgomery Street after leaving his lifeguard job at the nearby Otterbein Swim Club. Police say one of the suspects, 19-year-old Sidney Joyner, tried to stab him with a pocket knife; the victim dodged the blade.
“The victim began to yell out. Residents began to come out of their homes; the suspects then ran away,” said Sgt. Jarron Jackson, Baltimore police.
Police later found Joyner, who is now charged with armed robbery, robbery and two counts of assault. He was charged in the other robbery and assault, as well.
“I feel like this was attempted murder,” said his father. “An injury that severe definitely wasn’t an intent to injure—it was an intent to kill.”
The victim’s father also questions why Joyner wasn’t charged with a hate crime, since the suspects reportedly yelled, “Hey, white boy!” at the time of the attack.
“If roles were reversed, it definitely would be no question whether it was a hate crime or not,” he said.
Another swim club employee was attacked the night before in the same area. He was punched in the face but was able to outrun his attackers. WJZ has learned Joyner is a suspect in that attack as well.
Just days earlier and blocks away in Federal Hill, 24-year-old Sal Schittino Jr. was robbed and stabbed in the heart, liver and lungs. He was released from the hospital; no arrests have been made in his case.
“I kinda think the police downplayed that. I think that they knew there was an issue going on in that area,” he said.
When we asked why no charges were filed for attempted murder or a hate crime, police referred us to the city state’s attorney’s office, who said police are responsible for the initial charges immediately after the arrest but said the state’s attorney’s office can modify and add more charges once the full investigation is complete.
Police say they have no evidence to connect Joyner—the suspect in Wednesday and Thursday’s attacks—with the stabbing attack on another man in Federal Hill Sunday night.
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