Friday, June 24, 2011

Columbia, SC: In Non-Bias Attack, Eight Raceless Assailants Jump 18-Year-Old from Behind, Beat Him Almost to Death



All eight suspects in brutal Five Points beating in custody
Thursday, June 23, 2011 3:45 PM EST; Updated: June 24, 2011 12:04 AM EDT.


Victim Carter Strange, before encountering racelessness.

Carter Strange after encountering racelessness and undergoing surgery.

By Logan Smith - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - All eight suspects are in custody after a brutal attack in Five Points early Monday morning which left the teenage victim in critical condition, according to Columbia police.

Columbia Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said most of the eight suspects are juveniles, and did not release the names of any of the suspects. Timmons said no charges have been filed so far, though possible charges could include assault and battery and strong-arm robbery. [But no hate crime or gang assault charges; of course not.]

Police Chief Randy Scott said the 18-year-old victim, later identified as Carter Strange, was jogging through a parking lot near the intersection of Blossom Street and Saluda Avenue just after midnight on Monday when the assault happened. "This teenager was minding his own business, trying to make his curfew when he was brutally attacked and robbed," said Scott.

Strange's mother Vicki said her son was jogging home after visiting a friend slightly past his midnight curfew. "At 12:07 he wasn't home, I called him and said 'Carter where are you?'" recounted Vicki. "He said 'Momma, I am almost home. I'll be there in just a minute.' At 12:15 I called, but the phone was dead."

CPD spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said surveillance video taken in the area showed four of the suspects running towards Carter, though police only released video of the suspects walking on Harden Street. Investigators believe the suspects assaulted Carter and stole his cell phone, before leaving him in the parking lot.

After the assault, Scott said Carter managed to make it a block down the road to Edisto Avenue, where a passerby found him two hours later and called 9-1-1. Carter was taken to a local hospital, where he is still in critical condition.

Vicki rushed to the hospital and to a son she could barely recognize. "I literally bent over him, I recognized his hand and his hair then I said 'that's my son,'" said Vicki.

A relative of the victim told police the beating was so severe that Carter required emergency brain surgery to remove a clot. He's also expected to need reconstructive surgery on his face.

"He did nothing to them," said Vicki. "They didn't know him, they didn't know the kind of person he was, they don't know the kind of man he's grown up to be and they don't know the lives he's touched. But they thought he was so less of a person, they thought this would be okay."

Carter's family told WIS News 10 he had recently graduated from Dreher High School. "As a parent, you don't want to see your kids hurt," said Carter's father, John Strange. "I'd give anything to trade places with him that night and now."

"We have officers working hard to identify these suspects," added Scott. "I am confident that the public will do the right thing and assist us by calling police if they know who these individuals are."

"We got lucky, lucky he didn't die," said Vicki. "Next person won't be lucky. If they did this now, what's to stop them from doing it again?"

Timmons said the most of the suspects turned themselves in with their parents after seeing themselves on the news.

8 Suspects in Custody for 5 Points Beating of 18-Year-Old Carter Strange
1:26 AM, June 24, 2011

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia police say they are questioning eight suspects in connection with the severe beating of an 18-year-old man in Five Points.

Columbia Police Spokesperson Jennifer Timmons says the group turned themselves over to police Thursday night. She says seven of them are juveniles.

No charges have been filed against the group.

Timmons says some of the suspects saw themselves in media coverage and decided to turn themselves in, and others were convinced to go to police by their parents.

The group was wanted for the assault of 18-year-old Carter Strange early Monday morning.

News 19's Nate Stewart sat down with Carter's parents, who said they can't understand why anyone would do something like this.

The family gave News19 pictures, in which you can see what 18-year-old Carter Strange now looks like. They say he was beaten, kicked, and left for dead. After he was jumped by eight men in Five Points, his parents knew something was up when he didn't make curfew.

"A friend had texted him, and he stopped to text him back and that's when they jumped him," said John Strange, his father. Sitting next to him, his Vicki tried to avoid reliving what happened.

"When you have eight people on one person and they come up from behind you and hit you on the back of the head first, what do you do? Seriously? What do you do? He didn't have a chance!"

His parents say their son always follows the rules and is always home on time.

"When I think of all of them on my son and the fact that they are probably laughing and getting amusement out of it, makes me livid. Absolutely livid. You try not to let people do that to you until the point you become who they are, but there's a part of me. Yeah I could absolutely become who they are," said Vicki.

A couple passing by spotted Carter lying in a parking lot. A few minutes later, he was being rushed to the hospital. Carter's dad John says he was relieved when he arrived.

"Honestly when I walked in, yeah it wasn't a pretty site. But I was relieved he was alive."

Vicki said her son was unrecognizable.

"That was my son, that was my son. But then it was like that's my son! Yeah we've been looking for him for four hours. Yeah we found him. Ok. We found him."

Carter has broken bones in his face, a broken nose, and had to have emergency brain surgery to remove a blood clot in his head.

"I said if this would have been a car wreck, I deal with it easier. But I can't wrap my mind around eight people, beating someone almost to death for sport," said Vicki

His parents say the first step is getting him home, then for police to arrest his attackers.

"They're criminals go ahead and get them off the street. It might save a life. Next time they might kill somebody."

Carter is expected to have surgery to repair his nose Friday morning. The parents say they hope to have him home early next week.

* * *

Thanks to Nivius Vir, for the heads-up.


Anonymous said...

I can already picture the excuses that will be made:

"What was that boy doing there at that time of night? I bet he was looking for drugs. There's more to this story."

As of Friday morning, according to Google, there has been no coverage outside of South Carolina.

David In TN

NiviusVir said...

Great comprehensive reporting on this, Nicholas. I appreciate your work.

Anonymous said...

Eight white boys make an unprovoked attack on a black youth and beat him senseless and just shy of death. Ralph Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the national NAACP took to the national airwaves all day today to garner support for protests against SC and this blatant exposure of why we must have "hate crimes." . . . What's that?? Not 8 white guys? Not a black youth? Oh, well, that's totally different. Instead, Messrs. Jackson and Sharpton took to the airwaves to expose how white youth volunteer to be vistims solely to entrap poor black youth. Where is the outrage?

MrsKC said...

Carter is actually the son of my husband's cousin, so I know this story completely. This boy is a good boy and was just on his way home from visiting a friend. He was walking home to make curfew. He wasn't there to get drugs or for any trouble....TRUST ME! He was minding his own business. These thugs jumped him while he stopped to reply to a text message from a friend. This wasn't a robbery, because they didn't take any money from his wallet. The only reason they took his phone was so he couldn't call for help. After being beaten horribly, he still tried to make it home. We are so very thankful to the people who found him 2 hours AFTER the attack. If it wasn't for him, he probably wouldn't be with us today. He is finally home and resting. Please keep Carter in your prayers. This was a hate crime and a gang related incident. We WILL not stop until justice is served!

Anonymous said...

Carter will definetly be in my family's prayers , this was an outrageous uncalled for crime , that is not being taking seriously enough. This was a hate crime and justice should be served!

sugarlanskee said...

What is the updated status? Did he make a full recovery?