Monday, August 16, 2010
Black teens say ‘mob’ of white men attacked them in New Haven, MI
By Mitch Hotts, Macomb Daily Staff Writer
Victim says racial taunts, death threats continued after arrest
A black teenager has what appears to be the imprint of a boot on his bruised face after he and four of his friends and relatives say they were beaten by a “mob” of up to three dozen white people in New Haven over the weekend.
The incident was sparked by a dispute among several girls using a pool in the Amherst subdivision near 27 Mile Road and Gratiot on Saturday, according to Dvonta Lebby, one of the victims.
“I got jumped by 20 or 30 people, grown men, who started hitting me, and kept attacking us and didn’t stop until the police came,” Lebby said, adding one of the men stomped on his face so hard, the boot imprint remains.
Lebby, 18, a student at New Haven High School, said several of the white man repeatedly called him “nigger” and used other racial taunts against others being attacked by the group.
Witnesses said one of the alleged attackers was arrested by New Haven police but officers took no action against others accused in the incident.
The police station Sunday was closed for the weekend. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, which sent deputies to assist New Haven officers during the Saturday evening skirmish, referred reporters to New Haven Police Chief Michael Henry, who could not be reached Sunday.
Several of the victims had bruises and scratches, but none required hospitalization.
According to Lebby and his family and friends, some of their 15-year-old female relatives were using the pool Saturday afternoon. The girls accidentally splashed another group of females in the pool and words were exchanged.
Later Saturday, while Lebby and his friends were at home on Bradford, a group of people from down the street who were attending a birthday party at a white woman’s home gathered in the alley behind the house.
The woman who was hosting the party declined to comment Sunday afternoon.
Lebby was one of five males and two females who say they were attacked by white men who held them down and repeatedly struck them. Police were called to restore order.
“It was like a mob of 20 to 30 grown men in their 30s or 40s looking to fight these kids,” said Robbie Lebby, Dvonta’s mother. “I’m hollering at them to stop it — we’re talking grown men punching and kicking these kids.”
Lebby said his friend, 17-year-old Cory Jamison, “saved my life” by pulling some of the attackers off of him but then Jamison was hit in retaliation.
But in the hours after the confrontation, Lebby said the alleged attackers continued to make threats by driving by his home and yelling out slurs and also vowing on a Facebook page to kill the teens.
Jamison’s mother, Nicole, who saw much of the incident, said she is afraid for the safety of the black children in the neighborhood. She feels her own life is in danger as well.
“Justice needs to be served,” she said. “We need some protection out here