An Iowa man is bringing awareness to the public after he says he was assaulted by three white men on Saturday morning in a racially motivated attack, according to the Des Moines Register.
DarQuan Jones, 22, said he was walking to his girlfriend’s house when he was attacked by the suspects around 3:25 a.m. in the south side of Des Moines, according to a police report. Jones told officers that at least one of the suspects made racist comments during the assault.
When cops came to the scene, they found Jones lying on the ground with substantial, non-life threatening injuries to his eye, hands and left side of his face. He was taken to a local hospital.
DarQuan’s father, Daryl Jones Jr., said that the men broke multiple bones and had his son in a choke-hold.
“They broke my son’s face in five places. Five,” Daryl Jones Jr. said to a big crowd of community members, who gathered at the Mickle Center for a news conference at 2:30 p.m on Sunday. “(The suspects) know what they did. I don’t want an uproar, I just want justice.”
“He said, ‘Dad, why did this happen to me?’ And I couldn’t answer back. It brought tears to my eyes,” Daryl Jones Jr. continued.
DarQuan Jones told the police that he didn’t know the men.
When arrests are made, Daryl Jones Jr. and the NAACP said they want assault charges elevated to a hate crime if detectives determine the motive for the attack was influenced by racism, they said.
“After speaking with Quan, his family, and the witnesses that have come forward, if the story is as they state it is, then what occurred yesterday should be nothing less than a hate crime,” said Kameron Middlebrooks, president of the NAACP in Des Moines. “(DarQuan Jones) nearly had his life taken. If it wasn’t for two witnesses that came to his aid, we could have been working with the family on funeral arrangements.”
Tyia Campbell, 40, was celebrating a friend’s birthday in an apartment close by when she heard DarQuan screaming for help outside. Campbell and her friends left their building to find out what was happening and they found DarQuan badly beaten.
“He told us (the suspects) were trying to kill him,” Campbell said. “He was bloody. He said he couldn’t breathe and thought he was dying.”
Campbell explained that the suspects were yelling slurs at DarQuan as well as her and her friends. They were yelling, “get out of our area, we’re going to get all of you out of here.” Campbell and her friends phoned the police for DarQuan. “I held his hand until the ambulance came,” she said. “I just hope he’s OK.”
Daryl Jones Jr. said his son is recovering at home, happy to still have his life. “He’s in good spirits. The best thing is that he’s alive with us,” Daryl Jones Jr. said.
The NAACP of Des Moines sent out a press release on Saturday advising Black residents to be on high alert at this time. They also planned a virtual joint meeting between the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission and the Des Moines City Council on Thursday that was canceled when somebody infiltrated the online gathering and spewed sexual and racial slurs.
No suspects have been located for DarQuan’s assault as of Sunday afternoon. Detectives are still investigating and hope to have the case resolved as soon as possible.