Society

Authorities Deciding if Brutal Attack on White Family was Hate Crime

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Police are currently deciding whether or not to classify a case of three people attacking a family for being in the "wrong neighborhood" as a hate crime. 

Hate crimes are when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their perceived association to a certain social group, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ethnicity.

A white family of three was attacked on Sunday in Baton Rouge around 10 p.m. when they were at a Chevron getting gas. The family consisted of a father, 36, a mother, 41, and their 14-year-old daughter. 

When the father got in line to pay for his gas, 41-year-old Donald Dickerson started teasing him for being in the wrong neighborhood. He told him that he was "not going to make it out." Then, he beat him severely, resulting in the father sustaining a broken eye socket, broken nose and several facial lacerations. 

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But the beatings didn't stop, as two other perpetrators, Devin Bessye, 24, and Ashley Simmons, 22, beat the mother and daughter as well. 

All three of the perpetrators have had previous run-ins with the law.

The father had to be taken to the hospital for treatment, but the mother and daughter were not seriously injured. 

Dickerson was recently released from federal prison. He admitted to attacking the man at the gas station. He is now in jail again and charged with felony second degree battery. The two other perpetrators were charged with simple battery.

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Dickerson was sentenced in 2001 for 10 years in prison after he robbed two women at gunpoint. He is also a sex offender, and was given an increased bond of $55,000 after the judge found he had not registered as one.

Witnesses to the gas station fight were able to help police identify the three black suspects who left the scene before authorities arrived.

Police currently do not feel there is sufficient cause to classify the crime as a hate crime. 

They are investigating the matter and gathering witness statements and surveillance before they make the final decision. 

Sources: Inquisitr, WWL