GANG BEATING: Residents wonder whether assault is hate crime - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

GANG BEATING: Residents wonder whether assault is hate crime

Posted: Updated:
  • GANG BEATING: Residents wonder whether assault is hate crimeMore>>

  • Full statement from Ramsey County Attorney's Office

    Full statement from Ramsey County Attorney's Office

    Tuesday, August 13 2013 4:26 PM EDT2013-08-13 20:26:01 GMT
    On Monday, Dennis Gerhardstein sent out a statement in response to the allegations that the beating in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood may have been a hate crime.
    On Monday, Dennis Gerhardstein sent out a statement in response to the allegations that the beating in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood may have been a hate crime.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Many people are wondering whether the brutal beating in St. Paul's Dayton's Bluff neighborhood that left a St. Paul man in critical condition was a hate crime as the community questions police response.

Ray Widstrand, a white man, was brutally beaten by a group of mostly black young men, but the Ramsey County attorney says there is no evidence race was a motivating factor in the attack.

Yet, a lot of people have been asking the question -- and it's not just neighbors. FOX 9 News has fielded calls from St. Paul police officers who believe the department isn't being aggressive enough with the investigation. Yet, when it comes to the state's hate crime law, evidence is necessary.

The flowers at the corner of Minnehaha and Preble are a reminder that the community is still thinking of Widstrand -- as to the signs neighbors posted to say they believe facts are being covered up.

Many in the community wonder why it took five days for them to find out about the crime and why local politicians have been so quiet about the brawl that took place just a block away from the police station.

Widstrand was walking home when he came across a group of 30 to 40 of the East Side Boyz and their youth group of wannabes, the Ham Crazy Gang. He was knocked down, beaten and stomped on. The mob even took off his pants to rifle through them.

After eight days in the hospital, Widstrand is now coming out of his coma, but he will likely have serious brain injuries.

On Monday, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office responded to rumors that the beating was a hate crime, saying they have "no information from police investigators that racial bias was a motivating factor at this moment in time."

A spokesperson for the St. Paul Police Department also dismissed the idea that there was a delay in notifying the public about the crime, saying it is not responsible for what the media chooses to cover; however, the St. Paul police chief will meet with neighbors at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Arlington Lutheran to discuss the crime more.

Join our Facebook family

Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices