Thursday, September 29, 2005

3 arrested on hate-crime charges

Mark Bowes:

Three people charged with a hate crime are accused of beating and robbing a 16-year-old boy because he was a "white person in a black neighborhood and appeared to be an easy target," a Henrico County police spokesman said.

Lamont Joseph Fountain, 21, of the 1700 block of Watts Lane, and two 16-year-old companions, all of whom are black, were arrested Friday in the Sept. 15 attack, said Henrico police spokesman Lt. Doug Perry. The teens were not identified because of their ages.

Police said the incident occurred about 4:35 p.m. as the teenager was walking in the 900 block of Rural Drive near Richmond International Raceway. He was on his way to his girlfriend's house, Perry said.

Three attackers began walking behind the teen and chased him after he began running, Perry said. They caught him and assaulted him "numerous times" before he got away. The attackers caught the teen again and "hit him several more times" before letting him go, taking his wallet and a small amount of cash.

"They beat the boy pretty bad," Perry said, although the teen did not require hospitalization.

Based on statements obtained through an investigation, it was "revealed that this young man was [accosted because he was] a white person in a black neighborhood and appeared to be an easy target," Perry said.

Fountain and the two 16-year-olds were each charged with assault by mob, robbery and hate crime-assault, Perry said.

Man shot in possible bias attack

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