MOBILE, Alabama -- Wednesday 12:45 a.m.
Mobile police did not make an arrest before the end of the day as they expected. But police are in the process of serving warrants.
Neighbors say Matthew Owens chased off a group of black kids with kitchen knives after the boys lost a basketball in his sister's yard.
UPDATE: No arrests as of 8:35 PM but
Mobile police tell News 5 they still hope to make an arrest in the Matthew Owens case before the end of the night.
From watching some of the video clips I infer that Mr. Owens dropped the "N" bomb on a group of kids playing basketball, and has done so regularly. In one clip (the Lauren Vargas' live shot) we are told that Mr. Owens is "bipolar" and "he drinks" by "a black woman who lives on the street", eventually identified as Lemica Whisenhunt. Owens also has a history of, or with, violence - details are below, but in three incidents since 2009 a black man hit him with a bat, a black man punched him in the face, and he punched a white man in the face. Sounds like Owens is a one man EEOC of idiocy. [But over to a late update from WKRG:
The Mobile County Metro Jail log shows police have arrested Owens numerous times over the past 12 years for things like domestic violence, assault and sex abuse. His first arrest was November 4, 1990 for assault. The last time officers transported Owens to jail was last March on a domestic violence charge.
Regardless of what happened Saturday night leading up to the beating, police and most people would agree that it is not an excuse to put Owens in the ICU.]
Count us among the 'most'.
Also one kid (maybe ten years old?) claims that Mr. Owen was swinging a knife and cut his forearm. The camerman did not zoom in for a close-up, which either means he won't be getting a Pulitzer Prize for his work anytime soon, or else he didn't actually see anything on the kid's arm.
This article has a bit of a misquote from an Ms. Whisenhut, an angry black mom:
Tonight, an angry mother who lives on the street told News 5's Blake Brown that the kids who live on Delmar Drive are the real victims.
"Every single day it's a problem with Mr. Owens concerning our kids," Lemica Whisenhunt. "All these kids do is shoot basketball. We keep 'em in the yard. They don't bother anybody. We'd rather them play basketball than to be around here vandalizing, breaking into people's homes. We try to bring our kids up the right way and show people that all black kids are not bad."
"All black kids are not bad"? Racist! She corrected herself midway through that sentence; it should read "...and show people our black kids are not bad.. I don't think no black kids are bad."
We wish her Good Parenting Guide had a section on mob violence and the inadvisability thereof. As to the notion that kids can either play basketball or vandalize homes, I had no idea Mobile was so limited in its opportunities.
OWENS WAS TROUBLE, OR TROUBLED: From Brendan Kirby of the Press-Register:
Records from Mobile County Metro Jail show that Owens has been arrested numerous times. [Cpl. Christopher Levy, a spokesman for the Police Department] detailed 3 violent confrontations he has been involved in since 2009.
In July of that year, Levy said, police took a report that someone hit Owens with a baseball bat [This was Terry Rawls, arrested for the recent beating]. At that time witnesses told police that Owens yelled racial slurs and threats at a black man in the neighborhood. No one was charged in that incident, Levy said.
Parker said his brother-in-law was walking peacefully down the street at the time and that he was talking to himself but that assailant thought he was talking to him.
In an Oct. 29 incident, police said, a black man walking up the street asking for cigarettes eventually stopped at Owens’ home. An apparent disagreement ensued, and the man hit Owens in the face, police said.
Then on Dec. 16, Levy said, Owens was accused of fracturing the nose of a 53-yer-old white man after an argument.
FWIW, there are reportedly two witnesses to the "Justice for Trayvon" shouting - Owens' sister and a white neighbor.
ERRATA: Weapons included "brass buckles" not "brass kuckles". Here is the Daily News getting it wrong, with a cite:
Matthew Owens is in critical condition he was attacked at his home in Mobile by a group wielding chairs, pipes, paint cans and brass knuckles, according to WKRG.
Over to WKRG:
Owens was beaten Saturday night in front of his home on Delmar Drive. Witnesses, including Owens sister, say 20 black people attacked Owens with pipes, paint cans and chairs...
Big Skip and
Owens' sister, Ashley Parker, saw the attack. "It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed." Parker says 20 people, all African American, attacked her brother on the front porch of his home, using "brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on."
It's the old 'take your belt off and beat someone with the buckle' trick. People grabbing paint cans and chairs are using improvised weapons.
Here is Andy Campbell of the HuffPo getting it wrong:
Cops told WKRG that Matthew Owens got in an argument with some kids playing basketball at a court in the city of Mobile on Saturday night. The kids left and a group of some 20 adults arrived at Owens' front doorstep, armed with chairs, brass knuckles, pipes and paint cans.
I infer that Mr. Campbell never read 'Battle Cry' by Leon Uris, where I first encountered the brass buckle ploy.