Cops: Teen Punched Man for Listening to Rap Music

WFTV-TV (Orlando), July 28, 2010

A 14-year-old Palm Bay boy {snip} beat up the 22-year-old man because he didn’t think white people should listen to rap music, police said. The man told WFTV he was listening to “Wasted” by Gucci Mane.

David McKnight did not fight back when 14-year-old Joshuah Lamb punched him in the face repeatedly, investigators said. Battery is the only charge Lamb faces, but he could face felony hate crime charges.

McKnight said he was listening to a CD when he was attacked by the teen. McKnight never thought listening to rap music would trigger a black teenager to beat him up because of the color of his skin and choice of music.

{snip}

“The argument involved the black male suspect saying, ‘You shouldn’t be listening to rap music because you’re white.’ The victim said he can listen to whatever type of music he wanted to and then the fist fight was on,” Palm Bay police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said.

“I couldn’t get away fast enough, let’s just put it that way. Then one of them spit on me, punched me, knocked me down, got a couple of kicks in from a couple of them,” McKnight said.

McKnight suffered a broken toe, concussion, a swollen eye and strangulation marks around his neck. Police said the 14-year-old was with at least seven of his friends, all of whom were instigating the fight.

{snip}

{snip} The State Attorney’s Office is in the process of trying to figure out if it can charge the boy with a hate crime. State prosecutors said it could be one to two weeks before they decide if the 14-year-old will be charged with a hate crime charge.

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