A decidely groggy, unwell-looking Matthew Owens, victim of a beating nine days ago in Mobile, AL, had finally been released from the hospital — but less than 90 minutes ago he was returned to the hospital while looking glassy-eyed and complaining of headaches, dizziness, and a severe inability to “keep down” any food.
Meanwhile, it is still true that only one man has been arrested, and he is out on bail. Police say they expect no more than three more arrests, if that. Owens himself is not clear on how many people actually struck blows against him, reportedly, other than that at least three did so.
Further interviews today, with several black residents of the street, produced a cloudy picture. First, some background as described by the interviewees: At one and the same time, the block was described as usually friendly and as the site of several other horrid events in recent years. One many was stabbed to death two years ago (reportedly 14 stab wounds), and another man shot. But neighbors, black and white, also report little in the way of overtly racial feelings or disputes — except as relates to Mr. Owens. One black resident said that Mr. Owens is usually “good as gold, man, good as gold” – except when Owens has been drinking, a weakness that has shown up in several items on Mr. Owens’ arrest record.
On the other hand, residents confirm the reports about black teens sometimes or often refusing to clear the street of their basketball games in order to let cars pass — and they also, uniformly, accuse Mr. Owens of using the “n” word numerous times. One neighbor reported that police were called just two days before the beating to investigate a racially charged confrontation involving Mr. Owens, but one that involved no violence.
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Interestingly, several outlets have reported that Owens’ family members said Owens himself had a longtime black girlfriend and even had a tattoo with her name on it….