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Racially motivated attack or not? - Busted In Acadiana

Racially motivated attack or not?

Fri, May 17, 2013

Who Got Busted?

Donald Ray Dickerson

On Monday May 18th, 2013, WVLA NBC reported, “three people, including a teenager, were sent to the hospital on Mother’s Day after they were attacked at a local gas station. Officials say the incident was unprovoked and do not believe it was a robbery attempt.”

NBC also reported that, “witnesses at the scene say all of the victims were knocked to the ground and at least two of them were knocked unconscious during the attack.”

According to individuals close to the investigation, a family of 4 stopped to get gas at a Chevron located at the corner of Scenic Hwy. and Plank Rd.

Registered sex offender Donald Ray Dickerson, 41, of Baton Rouge walked up behind the male victim inside the store allegedly taunting him about wearing a pink shirt, before saying, “you’re in the wrong neighborhood and you’re not going to make it out,” then knocked the victim unconscious. As the victim lay unconscious, Dickerson allegedly continually punched and kicked him.

The victim’s wife, who recently battled with breast cancer, observed what was going on, exited their vehicle and attempted to intervene and stop the attack

Devin Bessye, 24, of Baton Rouge who we’re told is on parole allegedly attacked the female causing her to be knocked unconscious.

The victim’s 14-year-old exited their vehicle and rushed to render aid to her parents who were knocked unconscious, when Ashley Simmons, 22, of Baton Rouge allegedly bull rushed the teen.

Dickerson the registered sex offender was charged with second degree battery while the other two thugs were cut lose on simple battery tickets.

We’re told the male victim’s suffered multiple facial fractures and broken ribs and will require extensive surgery to fix his face. The wife required staples in her head and had bumps and abrasions. The daughter had minor swelling to her face and body.

According to Louisiana Law RS 14:30.1, a person can be charged with attempted second degree murder, “when the offender has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm.

Based on what you’ve seen and heard with your own two eyes, do you think Dickerson, Bessye, and Simmons had intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm?

According to Louisiana RS 14:34.1 (A), a person can be charged with second degree battery “when the offender intentionally inflicts serious bodily injury.” (B3) “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain or protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, or a substantial risk of death.”

Based on what you’ve seen and heard with your own two eyes, do you think Dickerson, Bessye, and Simmons intentionally  inflicted serious bodily injury?

Today the Baton Rouge Police Department announced that no change or new charges will be added to the aforementioned suspects according to WVLA NBC 33, after a public outcry inquiring why the suspects weren’t charged with hate crimes.

The release states:

Over the past several days our department has been the target of some criticism and frustration by people who questioned our handling of a brutal attack on a family in our city last weekend. I take those concerns seriously, and wanted to be certain that the decisions made by our officers and investigators in this case were the correct ones. The detectives have worked diligently and tirelessly at reviewing this case in an attempt to make sure it’s handled without prejudice.

So at my direction our detectives have extensively re-interviewed the victims and several witnesses and reviewed all available evidence. We have worked closely with the District Attorney’s Office so that the prosecutors who will ultimately have to take these cases to court had the opportunity to evaluate all of the evidence as well, and offer us their guidance.

We also reached out to our federal partners at the FBI to see if federal hate crime charges might be applicable in this case. FBI agents have accompanied our detectives and actively participated in interviews of the victims and witnesses. I will leave it to them to decide when or whether to publicly release further information on their part of the investigation.

I do regret that two of the suspects were issued misdemeanor summonses at the scene instead of being booked. That was a mistake and an error of judgment. We have counseled the officers involved and I have re-emphasized to all my commanders that I expect offenders who commit misdemeanor crimes of violence will be booked into the prison, not summonsed.

Again, this was a brutal attack on an innocent family and I want to commend our officers who quickly responded to the scene and were able to identify, locate and arrest the suspects. I also want to thank the many witnesses that night who put themselves at risk by physically attempting to intervene, and who have since cooperated fully by telling us what they saw.

Our active investigation has concluded for now, although if any new evidence or information comes to light we will of course investigate further and the charges could still be amended later if there is justification to do so. In the meantime we will forward all our reports to the District Attorney’s Office and work closely with them to make sure the suspects are prosecuted to the fullest possible extent of the law. We will make no further public statements regarding the details of this case or the evidence until it goes to court.”

Our questions as should all of the media be questioning is:

  1. Why isn’t Dickerson being charged with attempted murder?
  2. Why isn’t Bessye being charged with second degree battery for knocking the victim unconscious?
  3. Why isn’t Simmons being charged with cruelty to a juvenile for assaulting a minor?