On August 30, 2011 Elree Jones was in a convenient store in Lafayette, IN talking on the phone trying to finalize a few things for the job he had just been hired for as a janitor, when a stranger came up to him and said,“ ‘I’m going to kill this n - - - - -,’ ” Jones, 34, said the man screamed as he chased him out of the Village Pantry with a knife in the early morning hours of Aug. 30. Jones says, “He started cutting me up. He tried to kill me. . . . It was definitely a hate crime. It was racial.”
Jones is a father is three and had been out of work for a year. He was supposed to start his new job a week later. However, the attack has put those plans on hold. Jones received several injuries from his attacker. A stitched-up diagonal scar runs across the right side of his face. He has deep cuts in his right arm from trying to fight off his assailant. The tip of his thumb was severed.
Mark Neal, 50, was charged in the assault after he was identified in store surveillance footage and the police are looking into the crime to see if it can be classified as a hate crime.
Hate Crimes are all around us. Why does it seem like you have to dig for them to find them? I think cities don't want the black eye of hate crimes in their city, so they classify a lot of hate crimes as assault and sweep them under the rug. Therefore, the criminals committing hate crimes are getting off on a lesser charge, because they charge them with assault instead of committing a hate crime.