Mobile, Alabama police have made an arrest in the beating case of Matthew Owens, as 44-year-old Terry Rawls surrendered to authorities on assault charges.
According to Corporal Chris Levy of the Mobile Police Department:
“This here is an ongoing dispute with neighbors, that’s what this is.”
The story between Owens and Rawls goes deeper, as police say the tension between the two neighbors have been escalating for three years. In fact, police say Rawls has attacked Owens before, but charges were never filed because they say Owens instigated it.
Owens suffered severe head injuries and was taken to USA Medical Center after witnesses say a mob of 20 or so people attacked him with paint cans, pipes and chairs across the street from his sister’s house.
Police are expected to arrest three more people in connection with the assault.
According to Levy:
“What we know is that Mr. Owens was fussing at some kids about playing basketball in the street. These kids then went back and told their parents about the exchange they had with Mr. Owens, who were having a get together down the street, came down to where Mr. Owens is, and there was a series of racial slurs exchanged, and there was a fight.”
Witnesses claim one of the attackers screamed, “That’s justice for Trayvon” as she drove away. That comment has created an uproar nationwide, but police say Florida’s Trayvon Martin case has nothing to do with this.
“I can tell you without a doubt 100 percent that the Trayvon Martin case was not the motivating factor, said Levy. “That 100 percent, it is an ongoing incident between people that have been fighting for a few years now.”
Either way it is a bad look, assaulting someone in the name of Trayvon Martin disrespects the family and his memory.