Family Claims Members Were Beaten Because They're White

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Kevin Dawes and his 14-year-old son, Brandon, of Shoals, Alabama, were reportedly assaulted during a First Fridays event in the nearby city of Florence.

Investigators say 20 to 30 young people assaulted the father-son duo on June 5. Kevin’s wife, Juli, said the attackers hurled racial slurs at the white family. Kevin has a fractured eye socket, a black eye and burns from a stun gun. Brandon suffered minor injuries.

“Randomly, they just him me in the back of the head,” Brandon told WHNT. “I didn’t think nothing of it at first because, well, I thought maybe somebody tripped or something.”

Juli said Kevin was trying to help her son when the juvenile attackers turned on him.

“I got in between him and the attacker and told him to go toward the van, and that’s when I started getting attacked,” Kevin said.

He added in an interview with WTVM: "When I jumped in between him and the guy attacking him, I said, 'What the hell is this about?’ That's when there was just a wall of people behind him that blocked us off."

Juli was in the car with her 4-year-old daughter when the group reportedly shattered the windshield.

“My 4-year-old said, ‘Look, Mommy, they’re dancing,’" Juli told WHNT. “I said, ‘No, Baby, they’re not dancing, they’re fighting.’ Then I see my husband, and he’s on the ground being tased.”

The Dawes said the attack was unprovoked and are still rattled over the incident.

"What if this would've happened when I wasn't even over here yet," Kevin said.

"I mean, he is stronger and bigger than I am, and they did that to him; imagine if they would've tased me," added Brandon.

Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler said the assault is not considered a hate crime at this time.

“We are considering all angles,” he told WHNT. “There are no set of circumstances that would ever justify an unprovoked attack by a group of thugs, and we will not allow any group to hijack the family friendly First Fridays event.”

Police do not have any suspects, nor has anyone been charged.

Sources: WHNT, WTVM 

Image via WHNT