BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Baltimore’s police chief today said that the videotaped beating of a white tourist does not appear to be a hate crime, but rather “drunken opportunistic criminality” on the part of a gang of Charm City assailants.
In a radio interview, Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III urged Baltimore residents to “distinguish between criminality and racially motivated crime.” Bealefeld, who is white, warned against “race-baiting” and “fear-mongering” in light of the Trayvon Martin shooting and other recent racially charged incidents.
“There’s no doubt it’s a crime,” Bealefeld said of the March 17 assault. “We need to vigorously hold criminals accountable, and we have to be careful not to be pulled into this race-baiting.”
As Baltimore cops investigate the videotaped beating of a tourist on St. Patrick’s Day, a second clip showing the brutal attack could help police identify members of the mob who knocked the victim to the ground, stole his belongings, and even tore his pants off.
The video, seen above, was shot by an onlooker outside a downtown courthouse, where the tourist was sucker-punched by an attacker. The victim, wearing a Mountain Dew shirt, crumpled to the sidewalk and hit his head.
While on the ground, the man was set upon by about ten attackers, who stole his Tag Heuer watch, money, iPhone, and keys to his Audi, according to police. The dazed and defenseless victim is also punched, kicked, and even hit with a shoe by several assailants. In a final indignity, the man is “teabagged” by a male attacker.
The 1:26 cell phone video–shot by a cameraman who cackled as the beating transpired–was first uploaded to the WorldStar Hip Hop web site on March 30. It was included as part of a 14:22 “fight compilation” of 12 clips showing assorted mayhem.
In a TV news report Friday (which included another view of the Baltimore attack), a detective pledged to hunt down the man’s attackers. “We want to bring these people to justice,” said Det. Nicole Monroe.