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The Latest in the Mob Attack on the Man in Ala.: No Hate Crime Charges & Victim's Criminal Past


Mobile, Ala. police still have not made any arrests in the brutal beating of a white man allegedly at the hands of a black mob, WKRG-TV reported.

Matthew Owens remains hospitalized following what witnesses described as 10 to 20 assailants beating him with bricks, bats, pipes, paint cans and other items. The case drew particular media attention after reports that one of the attackers allegedly said afterward, "Now that's justice for Trayvon."

Police had said they hoped to make an arrest by the end of Tuesday.

Despite the charged nature of the case, police said they are not treating the incident as a hate crime.

"No, it's not. It's being investigated as an assault," Ashley Rains, public information officer for the Mobile Police Department, told Fox News.

According to WKRG, the attack was allegedly prompted after Owens came after a group of black kids with kitchen knives after they lost a basketball in his yard. As many as 20 people returned a short time later armed with makeshift weapons, witnesses said.

David Dinkins, one of the kids playing, told Mobile NBC affiliate WPMI-TV Owens confronted them and started swearing and hurling racial slurs.

"We said we're sorry," Dinkins, one of the kids playing, told WPMI. "He said 'get the F out of the yard!'"

Neighbors told the station it's not the first time they've heard Owens make racially-charged statements.

"He said he's going to lynch all the black kids, he hates black n-----s, he hates that we moved on this street," Lemicka Whisenhunt, who lives at the opposite end of the street, told WPMI.

She told WKRG, "He cussed these kids out. Called them n-----s. Stupid n-----s."

Owens is now conscious and police were able to speak to him Tuesday. He is listed in serious condition.

According to WKRG, Owens has been arrested multiple times over the past 12 years on charges including domestic violence, assault and sex abuse. His first arrest was Nov. 4, 1990 for assault; he was last arrested in March 2011 on a domestic violence charge.

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